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Joyc e (J . Lpcfchart 

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in 2013 



Charles E. Maddry 

2ln autobfoipphg 

Broadman Press 


Copyright, 1955 
Nashville, Tennessee 

Printed in the United States of America 
1.5 54R.R.D. 



After ten years the undertaking has been completed. The work of 
writing this manuscript has been done in the midst of a busy and 
crowded life. Many have helped me along the way or I never could 
have finished the task. 

First, I want to acknowledge with deep gratitude the help and 
inspiration received from my classmate and long-time professor of 
creative writing in the University of North Carolina, Charles Phillips 
Russell. At the age of seventy-one years, I re-entered the University 
and studied for several months under this popular and inspiring 
teacher. Several of the chapters of this book were read before his 
classes and received the constructive criticism of my teacher and 

I would also pay grateful tribute to Miss Lucile Rogers, professor 
in the department of English of Union University, Jackson, Tennessee. 
She has had wide experience in the making of books and in editorial 

I would also acknowledge with sincere appreciation the valuable 
assistance of Miss Linda Maddry, a secretary in the department of 
mathematics at State College, Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a 
splendid stenographer and has copied and re-copied the manuscript 
many times. Without her assistance, I could not have finished the 

Dr. E. C. Routh of Lockhart, Texas, former editor of The Com- 
mission of the Baptist Foreign Mission Board, edited the manuscript 
and checked many of the historical references in the book. 

I would also pay glad tribute to Dr. Hight C Moore, former 
editorial secretary of the Sunday School Board, for many valuable 
suggestions made while the manuscript was in preparation. 

I wish also to express my great appreciation to my wife for her 
encouragement through the years. Many times the work was laid 
aside during the press of other duties but, always under her sym- 
pathetic inspiration, was taken up afresh. 

And lastly, to my granddaughter, Kay Maddry Severance, now 

vi Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

a student at Westhampton College, Richmond, I would acknowledge 
valuable assistance rendered in searching out and correcting mistakes 
in spelling, choice of words, and construction. 

So to all these fellow helpers along the way, I express my deep and 
sincere gratitude. 

I pray earnestly that God's blessing may be upon all who by chance 
may read the story of my experiences as I have traveled the pathways 
of the world. 

Charles E. Maddry 

Hillsboro, North Carolina 




I Hight C Moore 

II E. C. Routh 
Chapter I. Early Years .... 
II. A Discovery and a Decision 

III. Teaching and Preaching . 

IV. Dedication and Preparation 
V. Return to North Carolina 

VI. University Church, Austin, Texas 

VII. Call and Commitment to Larger 




VIII. Accepting a World Commission 

IX. Visiting Mission Fields in Europe . 

X. Seven Months in the Orient . 

XL Down Under the Southern Cross . 

XII. Africa and India 118 

XIII. America's Day of Infamy 127 

XIV. Rethiement from the Secretaryship . . 136 


List of Illustrations 


Charles E. Maddry while Secretary of the Foreign Mission 

Board, 1934 32 

Charles E. Maddry at seventeen 33 

Charles E. Maddry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 

1906 33 

University Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 64 

The Maddrys in Brazil in 1936 with Harley Smith, Dr. and 

Mrs. W. B. Bagby, and Dr. and Mrs. L. R. Scarborough . 64 

The Maddrys and the J. B. Weatherspoons at the grave of 

Henrietta Hall Shuck in Hong Kong 65 

The Maddry family: Mrs. R. W. Severance (daughter, Kath- 
arine), Bob, Sarah, Dr. Maddry, Kay, R. W. Severance, and 

Mrs. Maddry 65 

Charles E. Maddry and R. T. Vann 96 

Charles E. Maddry and William Wallace 96 

The Maddrys at a reception honoring his seventy-eighth birth- 
day 97 

Charles E. Maddry, M. Theron Rankin, and J. W. Decker, sec- 
retary, American Baptist Foreign Mission Society ... 97 

Charles E. Maddry at seventy-six 128 

Charles E. Maddry at the desk used by Matthew T. Yates . . 128 

Mrs. Charles E. Maddry in 1933 129 



Here is the very radiant record of a boy who rose from rural obscurity 
to worldwide influence. 

He came of sturdy stock with high forehead to think, keen eyes 
to see, firm jaws to will, throbbing heart to feel, strong hands to work, 
swift feet to run the race of life. 

He was brought up in exhilarant environs: on a fertile farm of 
primitive equipment; in a home of good parents and happy children; 
among friendly neighbors; in a region of high uplook and far out- 

Through seemingly limited circumstances, he was given large in- 
sight from the home hearth, the church services, the public schools, 
a modest supply of good literature, and occasional addresses of ability. 

From divine fingerboards he was guided in every step of his 
preparatory years— from his conversion and baptism and call to the 
ministry to his ordination and student pastorates until he graduated 
with honor from the state university near his home and from theolog- 
ical seminary at Louisville. 

He was most fortunate in winning for his life-partner "a worthy 
woman," and their beautifully blended lives were radiantly happy 
and widely blest for nearly fifty years, their gifted daughter with her 
husband and children rising up "to call them blessed." 

He was a popular pastor of grateful and growing churches: "a good 
minister of Jesus Christ;" effective in evangelism, energetic in up- 
building and outreaching; eminent in pulpit power; outstanding in 
his denomination; an esteemed citizen of the commonwealth and 
the kingdom. 

He was an administrator of distinction: first in the churches he 
served, then as state mission secretary, then as director of a southwide 
co-operative committee, and finally as Executive Secretary of a great 
Foreign Mission Board reaching out into all continents of the earth. 

Truly he has been a world figure with planetary horizon, having 


xii Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

personally visited churches and stations in many lands, having en- 
couraged and energized every phase of mission endeavor at home 
and abroad, having solved many problems and difficulties, having 
prayed with throbbing fervor and having pleaded with tearful force 
that all co-operant churches would join more vigorously in winning all 
men everywhere to Christ. 

And now he is an eminent emeritus with laurels circling his brow. 
His beloved companion is close by his side; "each for the other and 
both for God," they minister in the church where they were married. 
Worthily he is climaxing his career by writing volumes of value, in- 
cluding this appealing autobiography. 

God bless this honored, happy couple, and long may they linger 
in the sunset glow of this life, though every ready and alerted for 
the glory and dawn of Eternal Day! 

Hight C Moore 

Ridgecrest, North Carolina 


Nothing is so interesting as life. No literature is more instructive and 
inspiring than stories of people who have fulfilled in large measure the 
purposes of God. "Lives of great men all remind us we can make our 
lives sublime." 

The portrayal of the struggles and achievements of Charles E. 
Maddry is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever read. Beset 
by many handicaps, he overcame obstacles which would have dis- 
mayed and defeated a less resolute personality. When he was tempted 
to yield to the pull of the low way, a wise and discerning teacher set 
his feet on the high way and gave him the vision of the richer life. 

The decision to commit himself to the Master Teacher, to seek first 
the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and to interpret the plans 
of God as related to his own life, led him to the university, to the 
seminary, to the pastorate, to the secretaryship— first in his own native 
state of North Carolina, then in the world mission task of Southern 

As Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the South- 
ern Baptist Convention, he visited all of our mission areas and re- 
turned from each with a compassionate appeal to Southern Baptists 

Introduction xiii 

to carry the message of the crucified and risen Lord to the ends of 
the earth. 

When he began his service as Secretary of the Foreign Mission 
Board, Southern Baptists were under a crushing debt of one and 
one-half million dollars for their foreign mission work. No new 
missionaries were being sent out. Then came the dawn of a new 
day, when under the leadership of Charles Maddry, Southern Baptists 
took heart and reinforced the depleted ranks of weary missionaries 
with eager volunteers equipped for service. They began reducing the 
debt, and within a dozen years every cent of that indebtedness had 
been paid. For the first time in the hundred years of the existence 
of the Foreign Mission Board no interest obligations were incurred. 
In more than thirty countries we now have nearly three times as 
many missionaries as we had in the dark days of the early '30's. 

I count it a happy privilege to write this word of introduction. 
For forty years I have had fellowship with this greathearted mission- 
ary leader. My affection for him and my appreciation of his glorious 
service were deepened during the several years of my intimate 
acquaintance with him while serving as editor of The Commission. 

The thrilling story of Dr. Maddry 's life and labors should be placed 
in every Baptist home and church library in the territory of the 
Southern Baptist Convention. It will bless and strengthen everyone 
who reads its message of conquering courage, overcoming faith, and 
world-encompassing compassion. 

E. C. Routh 

Lockhart, Texas 

Early Years 

On the last day of December, 1839, my grandfather, Abel Maddry, 
and Jane Gattis, daughter of Alexander Gattis, a Revolutionary hero 
and a ruling elder in New Hope Presbyterian Church, were married. 
Abel stole his bride and carried her away riding behind him on a 
horse. Sixty years later when I asked my great uncle, Samuel, why 
my great-grandfather had objected to the marriage of Abel and Jane, 
he said that his father, an old-fashioned, bluestocking Presbyterian, 
did not believe that the Baptists and the Methodists were very re- 
spectable in a religious way. Though he considered young Abel a man 
of splendid character, hard-working, and possessed of exemplary 
habits, he could not reconcile himself to the idea of his daughter's 
taking a husband who belonged to the despised, hard-headed sect 
of fervent, shouting, evangelistic newcomers who were known as 

They began housekeeping in a three-room log structure on the 
"Tailor Gattis" farm, two and one-half miles north of Chapel Hill on 
the old Hillsboro Road. Here my father was born on May 5, 1841, 
and was named William Alexander— for his great-grandfather, 
William Betts, and his grandfather, Alexander Gattis. 

Grandfather Maddry was a hard-working man; and, in spite of 
the thin and rocky soil upon which he had located, he always made 
a good living. He became a substantial citizen and won for himself a 
place of high esteem in the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, where he 
served for more than fifty years as a faithful and devoted deacon. 
Before the Civil War he was captain of the militia. I remember as 
a small lad hearing the older people talk of the "Muster Days," when 
all the township came out after the crops were laid by and spent 
the day in drilling the young men in military tactics, marksmanship, 
and other warlike preparations. On these occasions there were social 
gatherings and athletic contests such as climbing a greased pole, 


2 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

catching a greased pig, shooting at the "bull's eye" for turkeys and 
pigs, sack racing, and wrestling. 

I have examined carefully the old minute or record books of many 
country Baptist churches. It is significant that almost without ex- 
ception the slave members are always referred to as "servants" and 
never as "slaves." I have a marked conviction that our fathers, al- 
though they accepted or acquiesced in the institution of human 
slavery and fought the Civil War to preserve it, in their relationship 
as brothers in Christ in the churches could not bring themselves to the 
practice of referring to slaves as such but always as servants. There 
must have been an innate sense of decency and a feeling of a common 
brotherhood of equality in Christ that made it incongruous to refer 
to their black brothers and sisters in Christ, held in bondage against 
their wills, as slaves. 

From the time of the organization of the church at Mount Moriah 
in 1823, there was a large number of "servants" in the membership. 
About 1850, the problem of discipline as it related to the large and 
ever-growing number of Negro members became so demanding and 
acute that the church elected a colored deacon to assist the white 
deacons in the handling of all matters concerning the moral and 
spiritual welfare of the slave contingent in the church. 

After the Civil War, Grandfather was looked upon by the newly- 
freed black people as their friend and defender. Before the war the 
slaves had been members of Mount Moriah Church, but in 1868 
there was full agreement by all the members, white and black, that 
tire time had come for the Negro members of the church to take 
letters of dismissal and form their own church. Grandfather was made 
chairman of a committee to help organize and guide the Negro church 
during the early and difficult days of its beginnings. Several months 
after the new church, Mount Sinai, was started, a delegation of Negro 
deacons, sent by the church, came to seek his counsel in a dispute 
among the brethren over the command of Jesus, "Drink ye all of it." 
Some of the members had contended that this meant that all the wine 
brought to the communion table must be drunk, while others had 
contended that it meant that all the members were to partake of the 
wine. The contention became sharp, and bitterness in the congrega- 
tion flared to dangerous proportions. Grandfather set the brethren 
straight on the matter of the Lord's Supper; henceforth, everything 
at Sinai was quiet and peaceful! 

Grandmother, in keeping with her training in an orthodox Presby- 

Early Years 3 

terian home of that day, believed strictly in keeping the Lord's Day 
holy. All work on the farm had to be finished by Saturday noon; all 
washing, ironing, and cooking were completed before sundown on 
Saturday. "Loaf bread," as it was called, was baked in a deep oven 
before an open fire on Saturday morning. Meats were boiled or 
baked, and all food for the Lord's Day was prepared on Saturday. 
Nothing was cooked on Sunday except that water was boiled for the 
making of the coffee. The children grew up in devotion to the gospel 
of Christ, and the reading of the Word of God was the natural and 
accepted practice, not only in this home but in most of the homes in 
the community. 

Mrs. Cornelia Phillips Spencer, eminent North Carolina historian, 
once said that the University at Chapel Hill was like a great light- 
house sending out its beneficent and illuminating rays into every 
nook and corner of the state, but that at the base it was dark. The 
observation of Mrs. Spencer was true to the facts. I was born and 
grew to manhood at the "base." My father's farm was located three 
miles north of the university village on the old Hillsboro Road, known 
in recent years as the Airport Road. 

On this poor, rocky farm of ninety acres, nestling at the eastern 
base of Nunn's Mountain, I first saw the light of day on April 10, 1876, 
in a three-room log house, situated in a large grove of beautiful oaks 
and hickories. Two sisters had already come to bless the humble 
home. There were six more to follow, until nine in all ( five girls and 
four boys ) had come to crowd the little log house almost to suffoca- 
tion. One girl died in infancy; eight grew to adulthood. 

In the decade of the 1840's, North Carolina had passed the first 
public school law. The counties of the state were divided into large 
school districts; under the law, a schoolhouse was built somewhere 
near the center of each district. Within a half-mile of my grandfather's 
home, Strain's schoolhouse was erected. The huge chimney was on 
the inside of the house and had an open fireplace six feet wide. The 
neighbors joined in building this first schoolhouse for the community; 
some gave logs, some lumber, and all contributed the necessary 

The house was furnished with rough seats made of oak slabs with 
holes bored in them. Legs fashioned from pieces of split timber were 
inserted into the holes. On each side of the house one log was cut 
out, and a board was fastened over the opening with leather hinges. 
This provided light and air. The school, in session for some two 

4 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

months after the "crops were laid by," or during January and Feb- 
ruary, was taught by some itinerant schoolmaster, who usually 
boarded around with his pupils, spending a week at a time with the 
leading farmers of the community. 

The curriculum of the school was usually limited to the three 
R's— "reading, 'rit'n, and rithmetic." Webster's "Blue-back Speller," 
then in vogue, was the mainstay for seekers after learning. Usually 
the school session was far too short for much to be accomplished. 

Through the years of my boyhood and youth we had a varied 
succession of teachers— some good, some poor, and a few who never 
should have tried to teach. When I was ten years old, there came as 
teacher for the summer months a young man who was a promising 
senior at the University. It was his first school and he did not believe 
in "sparing the rod and spoiling the child." 

We had two spelling classes— the "little spelling class" and the "big 
spelling class." I belonged to the former. There was a spirited contest 
as to who should get the most "head marks." Three of us were far 
out in the lead— Norman, Minnie, and myself. I was veiy fond of 
Minnie, and she professed a decided liking for me. On this particular 
day Minnie was at the head of the long line; I was second; Norman 
was third. The teacher gave Minnie a word she could not spell. She 
stuttered and stumbled and in her desperation telegraphed me out 
of the corner of her mouth, "How do you spell it?" I was on a hot 
spot! Conscience and self-interest said, "Don't tell her." Romance and 
the appeal of those blue eyes said, "Help her out." I threw discretion 
to the wind and whispered the fatal answer that was to be my un- 
doing. She spelled the word, and it would have passed unnoticed, but 
Norman cried out, "Charlie told her how to spell it!" 

If the teacher had asked me, I feel sure I would have come clean 
and confessed. Instead, he turned to the young flame of my heart 
and demanded sternly, "Did he tell you how to spell that word?" 
Frightened and confused, she replied, "Mr. Blank, I hope I may 
die if he did." Now that was a poser! What was a gallant gentleman 
to do when the lady of his heart was in trouble? The outcome? Well, 
they proved it on me in spite of the protestations of innocence on 
the part of the two guilty parties! 

Mr. Blank sent one of the older boys out for a "turn" of long 
slender dogwood switches. It was a cool rainy day in August, and I 
was wearing a coat, which he ordered me to take off. With vigor and 
evident enjoyment he laid thirty-two lashes upon my all but bare 

Early Years 5 

back and legs. Some of the big boys did the counting. I lost count 
after the first few strokes. 

My father, who was one of the school committeemen, was away 
when I reached home. Mother, with sympathetic tenderness, treated 
my lacerated and bleeding back with simple home remedies. I 
remember being wakened from troubled sleep sometime in the night 
to see Mother holding an oil lamp, while Father examined my bleed- 
ing, swollen back and legs. 

There was a violent scene early the next morning at the home 
of the neighbor where the teacher boarded. Father went over to give 
him a thrashing. However, he would not fight and decided flight was 
the better part of valor. In a few days, hot tempers cooled, apologies 
were offered and accepted, and I was sent back to school; but there 
was no more whipping of littie boys that session. Later, the young 
man graduated from the University and became a prominent college 

Through all the years of my teens and early manhood, the bitter 
memory of that brutal flogging in the old country school lingered, 
and I promised myself that I would thrash George Blank if I ever met 
him again. 

Then, in the unfolding years, Christ came into my life and took 
out of my heart all the bitterness and hatred toward the teacher of 
those boyhood days. I became a preacher and, after the studies 
at the seminary, came to Greensboro, North Carolina, as pastor of 
two mission churches. It had been just twenty years since the "battle" 
at Strain's schoolhouse. Coming out of the post office one day after 
my arrival in Greensboro, I met a tall, distinguished-looking gentle- 
man—my old teacher. He hesitated, seeming much embarrassed, and 
then said, "Is this Mr. Maddry?" After I assured him that he had 
guessed correctly, he said, "Twenty years ago this summer I wronged 
you greatly. I was brutal and unjust to you, and my conscience has 
troubled me over this matter all these years. I read in the paper that 
you had come to a pastorate in our city, and when I saw you, I guessed 
you were the man. I promised myself that the first time I met you I 
would apologize for the wrong I did you and ask for your forgive- 

With emotion he extended his hand. I grasped it gladly and said, 
"Mr. Blank, if I had met you some years ago, I am afraid there would 
have been a different story to tell. But the Lord took all the anger 
and bitterness of that unfortunate incident out of my heart, and I 

6 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

forgave you for the wrong you did me long ago. I now have nothing 
but love and good wishes for you." We parted with mutual esteem 
and a good understanding, both glad that we had come face to face 
and settled the old score between us in the right way. 

A Great Teacher 

Before I was in my teens there came to live in the community 
a young bride who was well educated, gentle, and refined; she was a 
Christian, humble in spirit, and deeply consecrated. She was possessed 
by a divine urge to uplift the moral, economic, and religious life of 
the community, though the vast majority of us did not want to be 
"uplifted." Most of the people had grown accustomed to their grinding 
poverty and did not want to be disturbed. They resented any new 
and "hifalutin" plans for uplift and progress. They were backward, 
poor, and illiterate. Possibly a third of the population could not read 
or write. They wrested a meager living from the thin and rocky soil. 
Life was a daily struggle to make ends meet. 

The churches were backward, and the "meeting houses" were one- 
room, "cigar-box" buildings, ugly and unpainted. They were wholly 
inadequate for teaching or worship. The pastors, in the main, were 
poorly educated and without qualities of inspiring leadership, al- 
though there were notable exceptions. Some were men of fine 
personality and good natural ability. However, the poverty of the 
people and lack of support on the part of the churches forced them 
into secular employment to earn a living. They were absentee 
preachers instead of being forceful leaders in the churches. 

In our home newspapers were few. With the exception of the large 
family Eible and a precious copy of The Pilgrims Progress, books 
were scarce. 

The newcomer among us did her best to lift up a worthy standard 
of morals, decency, and high idealism for this ultra-conservative, 
self-satisfied community. Although she was a Presbyterian, since there 
was no church of her faith in the community, she threw herself 
wholeheartedly into the life and activity of the local Methodist church. 

The "problem class" in the Sunday school was the boys' class, com- 
posed of lads ranging in age from ten to sixteen years. We were 
known as bad boys, and we prided ourselves on the status the name 
implied. Some members of the group were possibly more promising 
than the rest. They were able to read and write. To the others, the 
printed page was a sealed mystery. 

Early Years 7 

"Miss Joe," as the bride was known to her friends, asked for the 
privilege of teaching this class. The superintendent, greatly relieved, 
granted her request. The new teacher was attractive in personality, 
ardent, and hopeful in spirit. She loved boys and had infinite patience 
and an unflagging faith in the "comeout"' of a bad boy. She taught 
the fundamental and essential truths of the Word of God and instilled 
in some of us a sense of sin and a longing for a better life in Christ. 
She loved us, prayed for us, held on to us, never gave us up. She tried 
to teach us the rudiments of decency and good manners. Yet we 
were not conscious at the time that she was doing anything for us, 
and I am sure she herself was often discouraged and ready to give 
up. When I was about seventeen years of age, she moved away from 
the community and went with her invalid husband to live in Florida. 

Full twenty years passed by, and it gradually dawned on me that 
I owed an eternal debt of gratitude to this faithful and devoted 
Sunday school teacher. We had lost touch with each other, but 
through friends in the old community, news came that she had 
"fallen on evil days." Age and infirmity had crept on apace, and 
poverty had come to cast its darkening shadow over her declining 

There came over me a strong feeling that I should go to Florida, 
seek out this devoted teacher of the long ago, and tell her before it 
was too late how much I loved her and appreciated all she had 
meant to me in my formative years. 

Securing a ten-days' vacation from my church, I journeyed to 
Florida and found her living in a very humble home in the pine 
barrens of her adopted state. She was still cheerful and courageous. 
Dire poverty had not dampened her ardor nor quenched her passion 
for the high and holy things in Christ. She was overjoyed to see me, 
and I spent two nights and a glorious Sunday in that humble home, 
in sweet fellowship and blessed joy, as we recounted the sacred 
memories of the years of long ago. 

In a few months she slipped away to the better land; but the 
holy memory of her prayers, her teaching, her love, and her faith 
abide with me. 

Ex-slaves had settled on the marginal lands all about our neighbor- 
hood. Most of them had bought little, poor, rocky patches of land 
and were trying to make a living. My grandfather was always a friend 
and a helper of the Negro people; they looked up to him and went 
to him with all of their troubles and sorrows. My father followed in 

8 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

his footsteps. For many years he was a school committeeman for the 
Negro district school near us and did all he could to help provide the 
Negroes with a schoolhouse and with funds for their school. He did 
his best to encourage and help them in every way. Every Negro in 
all the countryside believed in the justice and fair dealing of my 

Very few of these ex-slaves could read or write, though some who 
were born in slavery just before the end of the Civil War had learned 
to read and write in a very limited way. However, since almost all of 
them were ambitious that their children should get all the education 
possible, they sent them to school for the two months the public 
school ran during the year. The schoolhouse was a miserable log 
cabin, and the teacher was very poorly paid; but the poverty-stricken 
black people were doing their best to educate and train their children 
in the things of decency and religion. 

Almost all the Negroes I knew in the township were Baptists and 
were loyal to their church and to their preacher. The title for the 
preacher was "Reverend," and, if worthy, he was held in high esteem 
by his people. Reverend L. H. Hackby was pastor of the Negro 
Baptist church in Chapel Hill for more than forty years. He was a 
tall, handsome, distinguished-looking man with a high forehead, a 
long straight nose, and thin lips. Well educated and with a splendid 
reputation for honesty in all public dealings, he stood for everything 
that was good for the people in general and for the race in particular. 
He was a dignified man, and every white person who knew him 
respected him. He was really a very gifted preacher and orator, and 
the Lord used him in a marvelous way in leading the Negroes 
around Chapel Hill in everything that made for character, decency, 
and order. He was also a splendid schoolteacher and taught along 
with his preaching. He was truly one of God's noblemen. 

I was fourteen and a half years old before I ever had a ready-made 
suit of clothes. In the spring of 1890, my father gave me half a bag 
of fertilizer and an acre of thin, rocky land for a "cotton patch." I 
planted that cotton and cultivated it with loving care. The yield was 
poor, and the price was low; for the cotton and seed I got only fifteen 
dollars, but I was rich beyond the dreams of Croesus! 

In company with a cousin, who was a year older than I, and a 
self-confident sixteen-year-old neighbor boy who had boasted of his 
ability to get the better of the sharpest merchant in a trade, I went 
to Durham, then a sprawling market town of some five thousand in- 

Early Years 9 

habitants, to buy my first suit of "store clothes." We drove twelve 
miles over a wretched road in a one-horse wagon drawn by a little 
mule. The trip took three hours. 

We spent two hours bargaining and haggling with a Jewish mer- 
chant over the price and finally bought for seven dollars and fifty 
cents each, two suits just alike, one for my cousin and one for myself. 
A stiff-bosomed shirt with a detachable collar, a ready-tied blue 
striped cravat, and a hat completed the most gorgeous and satisfying 
outfit that ever adorned the person of an awkward, gangling, self- 
conscious, fourteen-year-old country boy! 

Sunday school met at nine-thirty the next morning, but I was on 
the church grounds a full hour before to show off my new outfit. In 
the afternoon I went to see my first girl. She was twenty years old, 
gentle and pretty, and the most popular and sought-after young 
woman in the neighborhood. The fact that she was already engaged 
to be married did not lessen my love for her in the slightest! I took 
her some cheap candy, which she received with the gracious charm 
which characterized her conduct toward everyone. 

My mother, a woman of boundless energy, was tireless in her 
efforts to see to it that her family was adequately clothed and 
properly care for. She hated poverty, but she was compelled to 
struggle against its galling and humiliating ravages all through the 
years of her married life until she was sixty years of age. Her father, 
who had succeeded at several callings and made money, was indul- 
gent with his family and a good provider. He was very generous 
toward my mother, and when she married he set her up with all 
that was needed for housekeeping. Beautiful and substantial pieces 
of walnut furniture have come down to her children of this day- 
all the gifts of my grandfather to his favorite daughter, Julia Rebecca. 
He gave her ninety acres of land, as good eighty years ago as any other 
farm in the community. 

However, my father was not a success as a farmer. Prosperity did 
not come to the young Maddry couple. He was a young man of great 
promise when he came to his majority in 1861. His education was 
above the average of his companions in the community, and he was 
ready to enter college when the Civil War interrupted his plans. He 
told me the last time I ever saw him alone that he felt God had called 
him to preach. He came home from the war defeated, his health 
gone; and he went through life with a sense of frustration resting 
upon him. 

10 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

By the time I was fifteen, I was compelled by force of circumstances 
to take the lead in most of the activities of the farm. Under Mother's 
direction, I did much of the marketing as well as the peddling of 
fruit, vegetables, chickens, wood, and other farm products from house 
to house in the near-by village. My mother was not an exception, but 
like the other housewives in the community, she carded the cotton, 
spun the thread, and knitted all the socks and stockings worn by the 
family. As my sisters grew older, they lightened the burden in every 
possible way, but the responsibility always remained upon my 
mother's shoulders. Mother made our clothes by hand— coats, pants, 
diesses, and underwear of all kinds. I was in my early teens before the 
family was able to buy a sewing machine or a cook stove. 

All of the family except Mother and the smaller children worked 
in the fields during crop times. From the time I was fifteen years of 
age, I went out to work for the neighboring farmers at harvest time 
and during rush seasons. In the summer I worked in the tobacco fields 
cutting, housing, and curing tobacco. In the winter when the snow 
was not too deep, I cut cord wood. In the late fall, I cut the winter's 
supply of fire wood for several of the older people in the community 
who were unable to cut their own. The current price for this labor 
was forty cents a day and board. 

One of the neighbors had the contract for supplying a part of the 
fuel for the little wood-burning engine that hauled the freight and 
passengers over the University railroad which ran the ten miles from 
Chapel Hill to University Station on the main line of the Richmond 
and Danville Railway. He paid fifty cents a cord for the cutting of this 
wood, and the worker boarded himself. The long slender pines were 
felled, cut into two-foot lengths, split, and put into cords two feet 
high and sixteen feet long. No one had ever heard of an eight-hour 
day in 1890. If I worked hard from sunrise to sunset, I could cut and 
put up a cord of wood— all for fifty cents. 

After "laying by" the crop in the summer of 1893, at seventeen I 
secured a job as section hand on the University branch of the Rich- 
mond and Danville Railway. The section master was Cad R. Williams 
of Chapel Hill. He was a considerate Christian gentleman, always 
treating the men under him with justice tempered with kindness. 
He died in 1953 at an advanced age. He had been an active and useful 
deacon in the Carrboro Baptist Church for many years. He was my 
life-long friend from the day I went to work under him, fifty-six 
years ago. 

Early Years 11 

Religious Influences in Early Childhood 

Eno Baptist Church, organized by Elders Samuel Harris and Rubin 
Pickett, was constitued in 1773 and for seventy-five years was a 
flourishing and influential body. Elder John McCabe was the first 
pastor. The tide of immigration flowing into Granville and Orange 
Counties prior to the Revolution from the eastern counties of Virginia, 
especially Isle of Wight, Surry, and Northampton Counties, swelled 
the church membership at Eno to imposing proportions. 

The "arms" or daughters that went out from Eno, the old mother 
church, around 1862, became strong, missionary churches. They all 
espoused the cause of missions and progress and aligned themselves 
with the newly-organized Baptist State Convention in 1830. They 
have grown and prospered through the one hundred and twenty 
years since the split took place. Eno, the mother church, which cast 
her lot with the anti-missionary group of Baptist churches, is only 
a pathetic memory. 

"Patterson's Meeting House" was an "arm" of the Eno Church and 
later became known as Mount Moriah Baptist Church. It was located 
some five miles northeast of our home on the Chapel Hill— Oxford 
highway. The church was organized in 1823 by Elders Fairhill and 
Farthing, "by order of the Eno Church." 

Before 1850, the Methodists in Chapel Hill belonged to the Orange 
Methodist Church congregation, a flourishing and influential group. 
In the decade of the 1850's, a Methodist church was organized in 
Chapel Hill, and the members who lived in town took their church 
membership into the new village church. 

Owing to the fact the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, the home 
church of the Maddry family for three generations, was five miles 
distant over roads that were often impassable for six months in the 
year, the children attended Sunday school at Orange Methodist 
Church. For some years, Grandfather Abel Maddry, who always went 
to his own church the first Sunday in each month, was at intervals 
superintendent of the Sunday school at Orange Church. My father 
often taught a class, and later on in my early manhood, I taught 
there at various times. 

Orange Methodist Church has given to the ministry four native 
sons— three Methodists and one Baptist. In the decade of the 1840's, 
my great-uncle, Reverend Alexander Gattis, Jr., the youngest son of 
Alexander, the Revolutionary patriot and ruling elder in New Hope 

12 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

Presbyterian Church, was prominent in the work of the North Car- 
olina Methodist Conference. 

The most distinguished son of Orange Methodist Church was the 
Reverend Samuel B. Turrentine, who graduated from the University 
of North Carolina in the class of 1884 and became pastor of several 
of the largest Methodist churches in the state. The crowning of his 
long ministry was his work as president of Greensboro College, a 
historic and excellent Methodist school for women, located in Greens- 
boro, North Carolina. 

Our church at Mount Moriah had preaching only once a month. 
The other Sundays we attended Orange Church, New Hope, and 
other near-by churches. One by one, as the children were converted, 
they went with my father to Mount Moriah Baptist Church. 

My mother's people were Methodists. On the Gattis side of the 
family, they were Presbyterians. My grandmother, Jane Gattis Mad- 
dry, wife of Abel Maddry, was a Presbyterian for some time after they 
were married. She then voluntarily joined the church at Mount 
Moriah with my grandfather. When I was five or six years old, my 
mother was converted at Orange Methodist Church and offered her- 
self for membership in this congregation. When the pastor, going 
down the line of converts, asked Mother how she wanted to be 
baptized, she said, "By immersion." The pastor was nonplussed for the 
moment but recovered himself and said, "All right, Sister Maddry, 
we'll appoint a time and come out and baptize you." Nothing further 
was heard of the matter of Mother's baptism for several months. One 
day Father came back from Chapel Hill and said to Mother, "I saw 
your pastor, and he said for you to bring Brother Gattis ( a steward ) 
with you to Old Field Creek next Thursday afternoon, and he will 
baptize you." Mother said nothing as she went about her work. Before 
the day appointed for her baptism by the Methodist pastor, I heard 
her say to Father, "If they're ashamed to baptize me on Sunday 
when the neighbors can come and see the baptism, I'll go with you 
to Mount Moriah where they're not ashamed to baptize me." 

It went along this way for some years; I do not know exactly 
how long, but on the fourth Sunday in September, 1887, Mother and 
I were baptized at the same time by Reverend John C. Hocutt in 
Patterson's Mill, New Hope Creek, near Mount Moriah Baptist 
Church. I was eleven years old. I remember that it was a cold, chilly 
day. A great throng of people gathered on the sloping hillside over- 
looking the mill pond, and the pastor baptized four candidates. 

Early Years 13 

After the baptism, we repaired to the church, and after the sermon, 
the church observed the Lord's Supper. I remember my grandfather 
passing the elements. Father and Grandfather, along with all the 
church members, came down the line, as they did in the old days, 
extending the right hand of fellowship to all new members. 

New Hope Presbyterian Church, organized about 1760, was five 
miles north from my home on the Hillsboro road. It was surrounded 
by a great forest. The first building was of logs and octagonal in 
shape. There were port holes for rifle fire in the event of Indian 
attacks. In those early days the congregation would meet and stack 
their guns outside. Some of the members would be left on guard to 
give warning of attack from the Indians. For one hundred and ninety 
years this church has been a very active and vigorous religious force 
in the life of south Orange County. 

In my boyhood we often attended services at New Hope. Their 
ministers were always cultured and well trained for the work of the 
ministry. They often lacked the evangelistic fervor and emotional 
appeal of the Methodist and Baptist ministers of the day, but they 
were well versed in the teaching of the Scriptures. 

For more than fifty years after the founding of the University, 
there was no Presbyterian church in Chapel Hill. The members of 
this faith in the village affiliated with the church at New Hope, 
eight miles away. Dr. James Phillips, noted teacher in the University 
and the father of Mrs. Cornelia Phillips Spencer, was for many years 
a leading member of this church and pastor for a generation. 

In his boyhood my father often attended this church. There was 
no means of heating the churches in those early days before the Civil 
War. The people attended the services faithfully in all sorts of weather 
and sat patiently through the service, which often lasted for two hours. 
Dr. Phillips in the "long prayer" often held forth for forty minutes 
(the congregation standing), and the sermon that followed always 
went on beyond an hour. Dr. Charles Phillips, son of the long-time 
pastor and a noted teacher in the University, was also pastor at New 
Hope for many years. 

In addition to these churches of my boyhood, the Hardshell Baptists 
had occasional preaching at a near-by schoolhouse, known as Piney 
Mountain. There were several Hardshell families in this community. 
The pastor would come out from Durham and preach once a month in 
the afternoon. He was usually a carpenter, farmer, or a mechanic. 
None of their pastors gave all their time to the ministry. As a rule 

14 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

they were uneducated men and received no stated salary from their 
congregations. They were rigid Calvinists and believed that they 
were the one and only true church. They preached in a sing-song 
tone of voice, the "holy tone," a practice they continue even to the 
present day. Very few of the young people join the Hardshell churches 
until later in life. One must have a tremendous religious experience, 
a vision, or a dream, before he can be admitted to a Hardshell church. 

Baptist churches in my boyhood gave strict attention to the conduct 
of the membership. They met once a month, on Saturday, for worship 
and purposes of discipline. There was very little business to attend 
to except the matter of inquiring into the conduct of the church family 
during the previous month. The pastor would preach for an hour or 
more, and then call the church into conference. If the pastor was 
absent, the leading deacon would read the Scripture, comment 
thereon, lead in prayer, and call the church into conference. Many 
churches required that every male member should attend and answer 
roll call every three months or be subject to discipline. The female 
members were required to attend and answer roll call only once a 
year. Our church had several hundred members. It was quite a task 
to call the roll and check the answer of each individual as to his 
church attendance. When about sixteen years of age, I was cited to 
the church for non-attendance. After explaining that my father com- 
pelled me to stay home and plow following a good rain while the land 
was "in season," the pastor, who was moderator, said, "The young 
brother is excused." I felt as if I had escaped a term in the peniten- 

Drunkenness was considered wholly unbecoming in the conduct of 
a church member. After being warned several times, the member was 
excluded from the fellowship of the church if he repeated the offense. 
It was considered a great disgrace to be "turned out" of the church 
for drunkenness. It was the duty of the members of the church, 
especially the deacons, to report all matters of misconduct on the 
part of the membership. Sometimes a church trial would last for 
months before it was finished. 

Most of the country churches in my boyhood had Sunday schools. 
A few of the pious elders of the church, men and women, met with 
the young people and children and conducted a Sunday school, doing 
the best they could to teach them the Word of God. A great majority 
of the church members did not attend the Sunday school. A literature 
of sorts could be had from the publishing houses of some of the 

Early Years 15 

denominations, but the lesson helps of those early days were very 
poor and inadequate. The Bible was the main text book. Faithful men 
and women explained to the boys and girls the Word of God and the 
plan of salvation. Many of the older members of the church were well 
grounded in the Scriptures. They knew the fundamentals of salvation, 
and they loved young people. Some of them were devoted teachers, 
and with little to assist them in the way of class rooms and literature, 
they were faithful in teaching the Sunday school pupils. 

There were no organizations in the church for the training of the 
young people in those days. Sometimes during the summer months, 
led by a faithful deacon appointed by the church, the young people 
would have a prayer meeting on Sunday evening. There were always 
some carping critics in our church who did not believe that the 
church house ought to be used for meetings of the young people 
because they were afraid that something would be done that was 
unseemly or disorderly. However, to the credit of our pastor and 
church, they were willing to designate one deacon to meet with us 
and give general direction and supervision to our efforts to secure 
training in the matter of conducting public meetings, speaking, and 
leading in prayer. The meetings, of course, were largely social. The 
young people had no other outlet for their activities and no other 
place of meeting for social intercourse save in the young people's 
prayer meeting, the Sunday school, or at the church meeting. 


A Discovery and a Decision 

One day est January, 1894, when there was snow on the ground, I 
was splitting pine logs in a new piece of ground we were clearing 
for tobacco. My younger brother came to the "new ground" with a 
message from Mother saying that a schoolteacher had come to see my 
father, who was then chairman of the local school committee of the 
Strain school district. Since Father was away from home, the visitor 
wanted to see me. I quit my work and went to see what he wanted. 

The stranger introduced himself as J. P. Canaday, a student who 
had come up from Johnston County to study in the University. He 
explained that he was a teacher in his home county and had entered 
the University with the purpose of preparing himself to do better work 
in his chosen calling. He explained further that he had a wife and 
three small children, and that since his funds were being exhausted, 
he was forced to leave the University and seek employment to support 
his family. As it was mid-winter, the public schools of his native 
county were already supplied with teachers, and he was seeking a 
vacancy in some school in Orange County. It had come to his attention 
that the Strain school district had been unable to secure a teacher for 
the two and one-half months' term. 

He had already seen one of the school committeemen and had 
been told that the committee had about decided to postpone the 
school session until the next summer. He wanted to urge me to in- 
tercede with my father to give him the school and suggested that 
since it was two months before "plow time," he would be happy to 
have me under his instruction for that time. I explained that I was 
eighteen years of age and did not propose to attend school any more. 
He asserted with confidence that if he secured the school, he would 
be delighted to have me as one of his students, and that he believed 
I would be interested in his method of instruction and would find 
it profitable. 


A Discovery and a Decision 17 

I confess that I was impressed with the man and convinced by 
his confident assurance that it was not too late for me to go to school 
and secure an education. His earnest sincerity and gentle spirit won 
my heart, and in thirty minutes I was his willing disciple. When he 
left, I had pledged him my loyalty and support in his efforts to secure 
the school. 

The outcome of the matter was that a majority of the committee 
voted to give Mr. Canaday the school. All my plans were changed. 
I decided to enter school and pursue further the undertaking of trying 
to prepare myself for something in life beyond the occupation of rail 
splitter and small farmer. 

I realize now, after sixty years, that this seemingly casual meeting 
with a stranger on that winter morning was a crucial moment of my 
life. I was to discover that the six weeks spent under his instruction 
would mean more to me than all I had received in the haphazard 
years of school I had attended since I was five years of age. 

Mr. Canaday 's method of teaching, was different from that of any 
teacher I had ever known. Secondary with him were the formal 
lessons in the few inadequate text books we possessed. His fund 
of information and knowledge appeared to be unlimited. Interesting 
and inspiring, he seemed to "speak with authority." 

He organized a debating society, and once a week he had speeches 
and recitations by his pupils. Once each day he had everyone lay 
aside books, and he made a talk on some historic event or described 
to us some battle, encouraging us to ask questions and make com- 
ments. He outlined some of the great books in literature and recited 
for us some of the great poems of the English world. He seemed 
never to tire, and the well-spring of his inspiration never ran dry. 
It mattered not that his pupils were ignorant, poor, and uninspiring; 
he was always the same fascinating, uplifting personality, pouring out 
his best to the small group who gathered about him in that bare log 

I was one of the "big boys" in school. One day toward the close of 
that first session we took a walk in the oak forest beyond the spring. 
When we turned to go back to the schoolhouse, he stopped and faced 
me suddenly with this startling question: "What are you going to do 
with your life?" I was dumb and silent for a moment, but when I 
could find my voice, I replied that I supposed I would farm a few 
acres of rocky Orange County soil just as my fathers had done for a 
hundred and fifty years since they first found their way from Scotland 

18 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

and settled on Presswood Creek. He asked why I did not prepare my- 
self for entrance into the University, located less than three miles 
away. I was startled at the suggestion. All my life I had heard the 
ringing of the University bell calling the students to classes every 
hour of the day, but this was the first time anyone had ever suggested 
that the University existed for such as I. 

Finally, I managed to stammer, in my surprise, that I was already 
a grown man, that I lacked money or influence, and that I could 
never prepare for entrance into the University. I said, furthermore, 
that this great institution was for the rich and important of the state 
and was far beyond my dreams or even the wildest flight of my 
imagination. To all of this my teacher replied that it was not a wild 
dream but wholly within the realm of the possible. His eyes seemed 
to pierce my soul as he said, "You can do it. You have something in 
you. I have been watching you these weeks and studying your 
possibilities. I am convinced that God has something great in store for 
you— something far beyond anything you have ever dreamed. You can 
do it. There is no difficulty that cannot be overcome if only you will 
give yourself to the undertaking with all your mind and soul and 

I was silent as we made our way back to the schoolhouse. This 
little man had profoundly stirred my soul and kindled my imagination. 
He had lighted a flame in me that has never gone out. Henceforth 
life held new meaning, for from that hour a new purpose dominated 
my life. He was the first ever to tell me that there was something 
in my life worth striving for and that God is always ready to help 
those who try to help themselves. 

This was truly a revolutionary hour. As I followed the winding 
mountain path along the banks of Presswood Creek to my home that 
afternoon, new dreams were born in my soul. New ambitions and 
enthusiasms took possession of my being. This good Barnabas, full 
of faith and the Holy Spirit, had found me and set my feet in a 
new path. 

In the spring of 1896 I was twenty years of age. After finishing 
"laying by" the crops, my father informed me that he was "setting 
me free" and that he would give me the rest of my time until I was 
twenty-one years of age. He expressed the hope that I would be able 
to go to school but said that he was then unable to help me to that 
end. I replied that I was going to go to school if there were any 
possible way to finance the undertaking. 

A Discovery and a Decision 19 

Just at that time I read an announcement in the Chapel Hill News 
that Professor J. W. Canada of Summerfield, Guilford County, North 
Carolina, was going to open a preparatory school in Chapel Hill 
around September the first. I immediately wrote Mr. Canada telling 
him of my desire to enter his school to prepare for the University. 
I had a letter from him in a few days saying that he would come to 
see me. About the middle of July Mr. Canada came out, and we talked 
over the possibility of entering his school in September. I told him 
frankly that I had no money and would have to work my way. He 
offered to give me my tuition, which amounted to $3.00 per month, 
if I would cut the wood and make the fires in some ten or twelve 
stoves and fireplaces in the old dwelling house that he had rented 
for the school building. I accepted his offer and on the first of Sep- 
tember entered the school. It was one of many preparatory schools 
that through the years had sprung up in Chapel Hill and flourished 
for a season and then passed away. However, in the providence of 
God, this school came at the right time for me. 

I walked three miles to the village every day, leaving my home 
about sunup or earlier, and cut wood until the bell rang for school 
at 9:00 o'clock. In the afternoon from 4:00 until 6:00 I cut wood again 
and then walked three miles to my home. I was a grown man, long 
and lank. I entered classes with boys and gills who were twelve and 
fourteen years of age. The first year I took subjects such as grammar, 
arithmetic, North Carolina history, United States history, physiology, 
and physics, often sitting up until midnight studying by the dim 
light of an oil lamp. My mother prepared my lunch of whatever 
happened to be at hand, and sometimes it was very poor and skimpy. 
I felt awkward and greatly humiliated to have to go into the classes 
of small boys and girls and start at the very bottom. 

However, there was one teacher in the school, Mrs. Sally Mae 
Wilson, of Virginia, who was like a mother to me. She was a great 
person with a wonderful gift of inspiring ambitious students to get 
an education. She helped me in every way, correcting my faults 
privately and making suggestions concerning all matters of conduct, 
social etiquette, personal appearance, and habits of study. She seemed 
to take a special delight in helping me overcome my many handicaps 
as I struggled toward preparation for the University. I was a very 
unpromising specimen, and I am sure that her patience was often 
tried. However, I was ambitious to learn and had an insatiable thirst 
for knowledge. One thing in my favor was that I had read a great 

20 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

deal of history. As a boy, I had read all the books in the community 
and ranged far and wide borrowing books and reading everything 
I could find. Of course, there had been no system or method in my 
reading, but I had read widely, and I found that this gave me an 
advantage over the smaller boys and girls in my classes. In a few 
months I began to write and found that I could master new subjects. 
I had never seen a Latin book until I entered preparatory school and, 
in fact, did not know that such things as dead languages could be 
studied in modern schools. I went through the courses offered by the 
school in two years, doing the work usually requiring four years. I 
graduated in the spring of 1898 with a certificate of entrance to the 
University witii the exception of Latin. I had to go back to this high 
school three times a week during die first year at the University 
to take Latin. A new world had opened to me, and I entered it with 
eagerness and enthusiasm. 

Some quick, alert, self-confident fellows made good money during 
the summer months selling stereoscopes and pictures. I was wholly 
on my own and was compelled to accept any honorable employment 
I could find. A representative of one of the big national companies 
came to the University in the spring of 1898 to engage and train 
prospective agents. Having finished high school in May, I signed up, 
along with a number of others, to take the brief and intensive training 
course offered for salesmen. The representative knew his business. 
He had an attractive and engaging personality and easily persuaded 
us that the people out in the rural areas were ready and anxious 
to buy pictures. The harvest was ripe and wasting for the lack of 
reapers, and we were to go out with joy and enthusiasm to bring in 
the golden grain! The agent gave us intensive training in the art and 
technique of picture salesmanship. The approach, getting into the 
home, sensing the member of the household who was yearning to 
buy pictures— these points were all explained. 

It seemed so thrilling and easy! There was to be no more worry 
in the fall about money for entrance fees, books, board, or other 
college expenses! There was plenty to be had in the picture business! 
Three months were ahead— June, July, and August— in which to reap 
the golden harvest awaiting eager and enthusiastic men out there 
among the natives! I was assigned the territory of Wake County, out- 
side Raleigh. Early in June, widi a pony and road cart borrowed from 
my father, I made my way to Auburn in eastern Wake County. On a 
lovely June morning, I began my career as a picture salesman. 

A Discovery and a Decision 21 

It was the busy season on the farm. Everybody who was big 
enough to work was busy with household duties or was in the cotton 
and tobacco fields. Housewives were engaged in the preparation of 
dinner or with the week's washing. I soon found that peddlers, book 
agents, fruit tree agents, and picture agents were unwelcome visitors 
to farm homes on a Monday morning in June! 

Before nightfall, it began to dawn on me that the farmers of Wake 
County were not as eager for stereoscopic pictures of current heroes 
and great works of art as the agent who trained us had made us 
believe. By the end of the first week the bitter truth began to 
penetrate— not only was I in the wrong business, but I was a dismal 
failure as a picture salesman. My small stock of money was soon gone, 
and it became increasingly difficult to find a place that would give 
me shelter for the night. Crackers and cheese purchased at country 
stores usually satisfied my hunger for lunch. The pony was put on 
scant rations, also. 

Twenty miles east of Raleigh, hungry, tired, and wholly discour- 
aged one afternoon, I tried in vain for several miles along the highway 
to find a home for the night. It was the same every where— the threshers 
were expected, the baby was sick, or the man of the house was away 
from home. At some houses the simple statement sufficed: "We never 
take in agents and peddlers." 

The shadows of twilight were falling when I came to a beautiful 
country home. I had been told along the way, "Mr. Needham Jones 
fives up the road. Perhaps he would take you in." I hitched my pony 
at the gate, and with diffidence made my way to the front porch. A 
fine looking man, obviously a gentleman farmer, and his well-dressed, 
good-looking wife were sitting on the porch. They greeted me cor- 
dially and invited me in. I gave them my name, stated my business, 
and asked for a night's lodging. I was given a gracious welcome and 
assured that they would be pleased to have me as a guest for the night. 

A servant took my horse, and I was shown to the guest room. Soon 
a maid brought me a pitcher of iced water, and I was told that the 
supper bell would ring in a few minutes. The supper was excellent 
and bountiful; the welcome was genuine and gracious. 

As I went to sleep that night, just one thought troubled me: 
"Suppose Mr. Jones should charge me for the night's lodging! How 
much would it be?" Any amount above a dollar would wipe out my 
operating capital! It was with apprehension that I asked him next 
morning how much I owed. To my great relief, he replied that he was 

22 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

glad to have me and that there was no thought of any charge! He 
invited me to come again at any time and assured me that there would 
always be a welcome awaiting me. 

Thinking that perhaps I would have better success in western 
Wake County, I transferred my operations to Apex and the section 
around Olive's Chapel, but there I found the same conditions prevail- 
ing. The farmers were busy with their work and wholly disinclined 
to invest in stereoscopes and pictures. One night it looked very much 
as if I were going to be compelled to sleep in a straw stack when 
Mr. Billy Sears, a tobacco planter, took me in and gave me a night's 
lodging free! 

Realizing that I was a complete failure as a salesman, I decided 
to give up the picture business. In the latter part of June I went 
back over the same territory to deliver the few orders I had sold. 
Unable to secure the pony and cart for this second trip, I went to 
Auburn by train. The weather was very hot, and before the week 
was out, my feet were blistered and walking was agony. The orders I 
had taken were filled, and I was able to settle fully with the company. 
There was enough left over to buy a railroad ticket to Durham, where 
I found friends and a job more nearly commensurate with my ability. 

Mother did my laundry at home each week and sent it the twelve 
miles by someone coming to market. Week by week, as the days 
slipped by, I dreamed of what was drawing nearer and nearer— the 
day when I would enter the University. I laid aside four dollars 
every week toward the fund necessary for entrance fees and books. 

Then came the great temptation. The Spanish-American War was 
in full blast in the summer of 1898. A volunteer company from Dur- 
ham was being organized. Enthusiasm was running high, and my 
first cousin, J. Frank Maddry, volunteered. Since he was a newspaper 
man, there was much in the papers concerning the bravery and 
gallantry of the Durham Company. Fear was widespread that the 
war would be over before the Durham Company could reach Cuba 
and strike a powerful and decisive blow for the downtrodden people 
so long oppressed by the cruel Spaniards! 

I was sorely tempted to join up with these crusaders for freedom, 
although I knew that Mother would bitterly oppose my plans if 
she heard of them. She had lived through the horrors of one war 
and the blight of reconstruction which followed; she had lived for 
thirty years with a sick and defeated ex-soldier of that unnecessary 
and unfortunate struggle. When I went home for a brief visit one 

A Discovery and a Decision 23 

Sunday, she reminded me that for years I had been striving and 
planning for the day when I could enter the University. That day, 
long anticipated, was just a month away. If I turned aside now, the 
one chance of a lifetime would be gone for me. In all probability I 
would be killed, or if I did come back, my health might be ruined 
and I would spend a miserable lifetime in regret that I had thrown 
away my one great opportunity. 

Somehow, in the light of Mother's entreaties and determined 
opposition, the glamor and glory that seemed to await me in Cuba 
began to take on a pale and sickly hue. Before going back to Durham 
that evening, I had given her my sacred promise that I would let 
the Durham Company get along the best they could without my help. 

On September 1, I gave up my job, settled my debts, bought some 
badly needed clothing, and proceeded to Chapel Hill to enter the 
University. When all necessary items had been paid, I found to my 
consternation that I had one ten dollar bill left from all my summer's 

I applied to the faculty committee which had supervision of 
Commons Hall for a waiter's job. About fifteen men were given their 
board of eight dollars per month for waiting on ten men each. The 
work was light, and the jobs were much sought after. I failed to 
get the appointment because the committee understood that, if nec- 
essary, I could walk the three miles each way daily to my father's 

However, the faculty decided that walking six miles daily would 
give me ample exercise, so I was excused from paying the gymnasium 
fee. The total entrance fees that must be paid amounted to $13.25, and 
I had only $10.00. Where the remainder was to come from I did not 

On the day appointed for the registration of freshmen, I walked 
over to the University and hung around the offices in the South 
Building all day watching the students register. Late in the evening, 
I made my way with slow steps and a heavy heart three miles over 
the hills to my old home. Early next day I was back again guarding 
with care my ten dollars and a certificate from the Canada High 
School entitling me to enter the freshman class. Finally late in the 
day, with a growing sense of despair, I left the campus and made 
my way to the village, stopping at the corner of Franklin and Hen- 
derson streets to greet some friends. 

Presently an elderly farmer who had married my father's first 

24 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

cousin came along driving his team of mules. He lived east of town 
on the Raleigh Road, and in slack times on the farm he hauled cord 
wood to the members of the faculty and townspeople. He greeted me 
in his gruff, hearty way, inquiring whether I had entered the Univer- 
sity. I told him I did not have enough money for the payment of 
the entrance fees and had about decided to give up the idea of school. 
He asked me how much I had and how much was required for 
entrance fees; when I gave him the information requested, he took 
out a rusty leather pocket book and handed me five dollars with the 
injunction to pay it back as soon as I could. 

"I haven't got much education," said he, "but I want you to go to 
the University and make something of yourself. Go and register in 
the morning, and get down to work." He drew the reins over his 
mules and was gone. 

All the joy bells of heaven were ringing in my soul that evening 
as I made my way out to Presswood Creek. When the Registrar's 
Office opened next morning, I was on hand, eager to enter the door 
of challenge and opportunity that had swung open to me. 

In 1898 all University buildings, including offices, classrooms, and 
dormitories, were heated with wood or coal in individual fireplaces 
or stoves. There was a central yard where all wood was sawed into 
proper lengths for stove or fireplace. The wood saw was powered with 
a small upright engine. J. Edward Latta, an associate of Professor 
J. W. Gore in the Department of Physics was in charge of the light 
plant and wood yard. Since Mr. Latta employed some six or eight 
husky country boys as helpers around the wood saw, I secured a 
regular job which paid ten cents per hour. My job was to take the 
cut-off blocks from the saw and throw them on the heap of "long 
wood or short wood" as the case might be. Ordinarily we worked 
from two-thirty until dark, but if the weather was cold and the 
demands for wood heavy, the lights were turned on under the wood- 
shed, and we worked until seven o'clock. Though the work was hard 
and the pay small, food was cheap, and a little money went a long 
way. I did my own cooking, and in the spring of 1899, after work, I 
would often go by Sparrow's butcher shop and buy a pound of beef 
liver for ten cents. 

In February, 1899, came a deep snow, which began at one o'clock 
on Saturday and continued until Tuesday noon. All classes in the 
University were suspended for a week, for it was bitterly cold, and 
the snow was deep. The wood gave out, and the students had trouble 

A Discovery and a Decision 25 

keeping warm. Professor Gore, Chairman of the Faculty Committee 
on Power and Heating, called his "saw boys" together and offered 
us the amazing wage of twenty cents per hour! We accepted and for 
ten days were in big money! 

Having settled the matter of a "call" to the ministry, I felt it was 
high time to begin activities in that direction. Since I was already 
twenty-three years old, I decided to accept every opportunity that 
came my way to teach in Sunday school or lead prayer meeting. I 
worked in the union services at Carrboro, taught in the Sunday school 
at Orange Church, and sang in the choir of the village Baptist Church. 

Because the University YMCA was in desperate financial straits, 
no one would accept the position of treasurer. Allen Barwick, always 
the gracious and charming gentleman, was president of the "Y." 
He persuaded me that I had been set apart in a peculiar way to pull 
the "Y" out of its financial difficulties and thus render an outstanding 
service to the religious life of the University. Accepting the task of 
treasurer, I did what could be done to improve a bad situation. In my 
junior year, I was elected president of a rejuvenated YMCA. 

At the turn of the century, the two literary societies, the Dialectic 
and Philanthropic, still played a major role in the life of the school. 
Debating was a popular pastime, and intense interest was taken in 
all inter-society and inter-collegiate contests. After joining the "Di" 
Society at the first meeting of the session of 1898, I never missed an 
opportunity of trying to learn something of the art of thinking and 
of giving expression to my thoughts to any group who would listen. 
All freshmen were excused from speaking the first night they were 
on duty. I refused to accept the customary favor extended freshmen, 
and to the disgust of many upperclassmen who were interested only 
in an early adjournment, I insisted on making my speech in turn. 

Because of debt and lack of necessaiy funds, I was compelled to 
drop out of school at the close of the fall term of my senior year. After 
a year of hard work as county school superintendent and pastor 
of five churches, I re-entered on January 1 as a member of the 
class of 1903. 

The work of the spring term was very heavy. I maintained an office 
in the County Court House in Hillsboro, twelve miles away, and went 
over on Friday nights to attend to school matters on Saturday. I 
secured a supply for some of the churches of the field until I finished 
the University in June. I carried on the church work at Hillsboro and 
near-by Mars Hill, preaching three times each month. 

26 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

I had taken all the work offered by Professor Horace H. Williams, 
Professor of Philosophy, including his famous course in logic. His 
course in comparative religions was especially stimulating and help- 
ful, and part of this course was a discriminating and critical study 
of the Prophet Isaiah. Under the guidance of Mr. Williams I wrote 
my graduating thesis on the work of this great Messianic prophet 
under the title, "The Work of the Prophet in the Religious Life." 

Early in the spring term, I decided to enter the contest for the 
Mangum Medal in Oratory, the most coveted honor offered by the 
University in that day. The preliminary contest before a committee 
of the faculty was open to any member of the senior class. The four 
best speakers were selected to represent the class on commencement 
day. The winner in the final contest was awarded the coveted medal. 

Early in April the committee announced that the preliminary con- 
test would take place on the following Saturday at ten o'clock. I was 
greatly disappointed because I was compelled to be in the office in 
Hillsboro every Saturday, attending to school matters. The committee, 
learning of my desire to enter the contest, generously offered to hold 
the final decision as to the winners until Monday and give me a 
chance to be heard. I appeared before the committee, and when the 
names of the winners were posted on the bulletin board, my name 
appeared fourth on the list. 

Immediately the all-absorbing question was the topic of my speech. 
Had I made a wise selection? The faculty committee seemed to think 
so, but two of my teachers and best friends said that I could not win 
with the speech made before the committee. 

Mr. Williams urged me to reshape my thesis on Isaiah and assured 
me that it would be a winner. Dr. Thomas Hume, head of the Depart- 
ment of English, said that I could not win with Isaiah, but that victory 
would be mine if I would speak on "The Literary Value of the Psalms 
of David," this being the gist of a course I had taken under him in 
advanced English. This did not click with me any more than did 
Professor Williams' Isaiah. 

During the year spent in rural school work in Orange County, I 
had become greatly interested in and concerned over the terrible 
lack of adequate schools for the country boys and girls. I saw that 
on the whole the farmers were far more interested in improving the 
breed of their hogs, cows, and mules than they were in improving 
the minds of their boys and girls. When I saw the youth of this back- 
ward rural county going through the same hard and bitter experience 

A Discovery and a Decision 27 

through which I had passed, I was mightily moved. There was a 
speech simmering and boiling in my soul that sooner or later must 
be made. Like the Psalmist, "My heart was hot within me; while I 
was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue." Going 
apart one day, in three hours I wrote a speech on "The Duty of the 
Southland to the Country Boy." Though it was somewhat sophomoric, 
grandiose, and lacking in substance, it was my very own. I knew I 
could speak it with conviction and sincerity. 

That night I went down to see "Old Horace," as all his boys lovingly 
called him. I told him I had been having trouble with Isaiah and 
suggested that he let me read him the winning speech I had written 
that morning. He fixed himself to hear, and I proceeded to read with 
satisfaction and confidence. When I had finished reading, he looked 
at the blank wall for some time and then turned to me with the 
melancholy look of profound sorrow for which he was famous and 
said, "Mr. Maddry, you will never win anything with that speech." 

I went away with leaden feet. 

Nearing the campus, the thought suddenly flashed into my mind: 
"Why not go and see Dr. Smith, your English teacher, and get his 
advice? I crossed the street to the fraternity house where he lived. 
Answering my knock he called out in his jovial voice, "Come in!" 
I found him in dressing gown and slippers smoking his pipe and 
reading a book, his feet propped up on his desk. 

"Sit down, Mr. Maddry," he said. "What can I do for you?" 

In a few words I told him of my toils and sorrows in the speech- 
making line, together with the devastating verdict of "Old Horace." 
I then requested that he hear my speech and give me his candid 
opinion of the whole matter. After I had finished the reading, he 
suggested only one change. In a number of places, I had spoken of 
the "Southland" for the "South." "Just leave off the land,' " said he, 
"and say the 'South.' Go back to your room and learn that speech until 
you can say it backwards, and you will win the medal!" 

Walking on air with my head amid the stars, I went to my room. 

At last the day came. We had drawn straws for position on the 
team, and I had drawn number four. While I was describing the 
poverty and ruin that had come upon the land and the people of 
the South at the close of the Civil War, I noticed that Colonel 
Killebrew of Tennessee, one of the judges of the contest, was weeping. 
He had graduated from the University before the war and had come 
back for a reunion of his ex-Confederate comrades. Seeing his emo- 

28 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

tional reaction to my speech did not discourage me as to the final 

President Venable awarded the diplomas, announced the recipients 
of prizes and awards, and announced that the winner of the Mangum 
Medal for Oratory was— Charles E. Maddry! 

I might say that "Old Horace" never mentioned the matter to me 


Teaching and Preaching 

I soon found my schedule for the fall term at the University difficult 
indeed. From my father's home the daily trip was six miles. After a 
few weeks, I realized that some other arrangement for room and board 
must be made. Home was overcrowded, and there were too many 
mouths to feed, especially in view of the fact that I was no longer 
working and contributing to the support of the family. 

I arranged to cut firewood for a cousin for my room rent and 
boarded wherever I could find work or credit. I managed in various 
ways to get through the fall term but could see no hope of staying 
on for the spring session. At this critical juncture in my personal 
affairs, the committee of Strain's school district offered me the school 
for three months. They reported that the county appropriation for 
the year was $80, and they would give me the entire sum for teaching 
three months! I felt highly honored that I should be invited to teach 
my home school! The salary offered— well, it seemed princely to me. 

Before giving the committee a final answer, I felt that I must go 
into town and talk the matter over with Mrs. Sallie May Wilson, a 
teacher in the Canada High School, where I had prepared for the 
University. On a Sunday night during the Christmas holidays of 1898, 
I went into town for the evening service at the Baptist Church, know- 
ing I would find my teacher in her accustomed place in church. On 
the walk to the village, I planned and rehearsed my presentation 
of the crisis that had come into my life and my decision to leave school 
and give up the plan of trying to graduate. I had long dreamed of 
studying law and from childhood had felt a desire to get into politics. 
The $80 I would make teaching would pay my debts, buy me some 
clothes so sorely needed, and enable me to attend the summer session 
of law school. Another session of teaching would enable me to finish 
the law course and hang out my shingle at the county seat! 

The plan was so perfect and the prospect so enticing that the walk 


30 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

of three miles to the village was over before I had fully built up 
every line of defense in my glittering plan. I walked home from 
church with Mrs. Wilson. Before the cozy fire in her little living 
room, I found it strangely difficult to unfold my far-reaching and 
ambitious plan. Before I proceeded veiy far, I found I had run up 
against a determined opposition that I had not anticipated and was 
unprepared to meet. As my devoted teacher argued, wept, entreated, 
and prayed, somehow the offer to teach the home school did not seem 
so flattering, and the life of a lawyer and politician lost much of its 
glamor. The question of the ministry was opened afresh, and to my 
great surprise she told me of her long-continued interest and in- 
creasing prayer that I might be divinely led in my final decision 
on this matter of supreme importance. Sometime toward midnight, 
after I had given my teacher my solemn promise that I would never 
leave the University without first coming to talk the whole matter 
over with her, I left. 

The next day I sought out the school committee and informed 
them that I had decided to remain in the University. To my surprise 
and delight, they decided to defer the session until July the first and 
offered me the school. Without hesitation, I accepted this offer, and 
on January 1, 1899, I went back to my studies. 

I began teaching my first public school at Strain's Schoolhouse, 
three miles northeast of Chapel Hill, on July 1. Some sixty pupils 
were enrolled, ranging in age from five to twenty-one. There were 
several grown boys enrolled with whom I had attended school at 
this same place. They were generally very co-operative and helpful. 

On the first morning as school assembled, I was faced with the 
question of whether or not to read the Bible and pray. Most of the 
teachers who had gone before me would read something from the 
Psalms or Proverbs but would not have a prayer. I felt it was my duty 
to have both. There were present grown boys and girls with whom 
I had mingled in all the social contacts and activities of the neighbor- 
hood. To stand before this group and read the Scriptures and lead 
in prayer was a major effort to one who suffered acutely from self- 
consciousness. However, I have always been glad that I followed my 
better judgment and opened that first day with divine worship. 

This session went smoothly and was a moderate success; the patrons 
were pleased, and everybody was happy. I learned more than my 
pupils did and have always been grateful to a kind Providence that 
I had this valuable experience that so richly influenced my life. 

Teaching and Preaching 31 

Early in September the school closed with a rather pretentious 
"exhibition." On the closing night when the committee came in a 
group and formally offered me the school for the next summer, I 
accepted and thus insured the improvement of my financial situation 
and the completion of my course in the University. 

The second session seemed to give general satisfaction. I left the 
old community with regret, yet with a feeling of pride that I had 
taught in the old log house where my father went to school in his 
boyhood and where he taught in his young manhood. Here in the 
same hallowed spot, I had learned valuable lessons in the long process 
of getting an education— a process that was then just beginning. 

I first saw the North Carolina Baptist Convention in action in the 
fall of 1900 when it met in the First Baptist Church of Raleigh. It 
proved to be a historic session. I was a junior at the University and 
went as a messenger from the Chapel Hill Baptist Church. 

Since this was my first attendance at the meeting of a state conven- 
tion, I was tremendously impressed with the proceedings. For the 
first time, I saw the leaders among the Baptists of the state, laymen 
and preachers. I heard N. B. Broughton, F. B. Hobgood, and John A. 
Oates, along with other prominent laymen, little dreaming that one 
day I would be Mr. Broughton's pastor. In a rough and tumble debate 
on the Biblical Recorder, I heard the young and brilliant editor, 
Josiah William Bailey, speak. He clashed with N. B. Broughton, and 
before the debate was over, Baylus Cade and J. D. Hufham were 
drawn into the fray. It was a battle royal when these two stalwarts 

One other incident in this, my first convention stands out as vividly 
in memory after the passing of fifty years as if it had been yesterday. 
Secretary John E. White resigned to accept the pastorate of the 
Second Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. His resignation was 
accepted, and a large committee was appointed to nominate a new 
secretary. The committee brought in the name of Livingston Johnson, 
pastor of the First Church of Greensboro. After he was elected with 
unanimity and enthusiasm, President Marsh invited the new secretary 
to come to the platform to be presented to the convention. Secretary 
Johnson expressed his deep appreciation for the confidence the con- 
vention had reposed in him in a few well-chosen words, and he 
earnestly entreated all the messengers to pray for him that he might 
always be faithful to the trust they had just committed to him. Some- 
one then suggested that the convention engage in prayer for the new 

32 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

secretary. The further suggestion was made that all who could pos- 
sibly do so kneel on the pulpit platform around the newly-elected 
secretary, and that the dearly beloved and saintly Henry N. Brown, 
pastor of the First Church, Winston, lead the prayer. This was all 
done in a spirit of quiet and holy reverence. 

It would have seemed wholly beyond the realm of possibility and 
entirely in the region of fantasy if anyone had suggested that just 
twenty years from that day I would be called to this office of secretary 
of the convention by the unanimous vote of my brethren. 

In June, 1901, the YMCA Conference of the colleges and uni- 
versities of the South met for ten days at Bingham Heights, Asheville, 
North Carolina. The University YMCA sent Louis Round Wilson, 
S. M. McNeely, J. M. Justice, and Charles E. Maddry as delegates. 
It was a memorable gathering of the religious leaders of southern 
schools. Here I heard the outstanding leaders and preachers of the 
Protestant churches of America. My spiritual life was greatly en- 
riched, and my vision of world Christianity was much enlarged. 

The Southern Baptist Convention met in Asheville in May, 1902. 
I was pastor of five small churches which paid a combined salary of 
$430 a year. Tobacco being the main money crop in this section, most 
of my salary was paid in the fall. I wanted very much to go to the 
convention, but lacking the necessary funds, I gave up the cherished 
dream of seeing this great meeting. 

Less than a month before the convention, to my surprise, a com- 
mittee from my field of churches notified me that they were making 
up a purse to defray my expenses to Asheville. This good news brought 
much joy to my heart, and I immediately began to prepare for the 
memorable trip. In due time, the committee presented me with a 
purse of some eighteen dollars for the expenses of the journey. 

When I boarded the train in Hillsboro, I met for the first time 
Reverend Hight C Moore, pastor of our church at New Bern. Already 
he was widely known through the Biblical Recorder as a gifted writer 
on Sunday school and scriptural topics. Mr. Moore informed me that 
he had engaged a room in a private home in Asheville and would 
be glad to share it with me. Thus began a lifelong friendship with 
Dr. Moore that has grown closer and more precious through the 
years. Four years after that first meeting, in the little church in 
Hillsboro, he performed the marriage ceremony which bound me in 
wedlock to his wife's first cousin. Some years later he assisted in the 
marriage ceremony of our daughter in his home in Nashville. 

Charles E. Mad dry while Secretary 
of the Foreign Mission Board, 1934 

Charles E. Maddry 
at seventeen 

Charles E. Maddry at Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary, 1906 

Teaching and Preaching 33 

The sight of so many Baptists in one meeting, and especially the 
presence of so many preachers, left an indelible impression on my 
mind. A local paper said there were fifteen hundred ministers who 
attended the convention. Up to that time it had not occurred to me 
that there were so many Baptist preachers in the world! 

For me, the crowning thrill of the convention was the matchless 
sermon of Dr. George W. Truett at the First Baptist Church on Sunday 
morning. I had attended a conference on evangelism earlier, and when 
I reached the First Baptist Church at 10:45, every seat was taken, and 
the building was filled to the doors. The usher said that the only seat 
available was on the pulpit steps among the palms and flowers. I took 
the seat offered and looked at the mighty preacher through an opening 
in the palms. 

Dr. Truett at this time was only thirty-five years of age, but already 
his fame as an eloquent preacher had penetrated to every state and 
community within the bounds of the Southern Baptist Convention. 
It was indeed a thrilling and momentous hour, and the great man 
was at his best. It was his first appearance as a preacher before the 
people of his native state, and hundreds of them packed the large 
church to hear him. Some dozen years before this time, as an ambitious 
young mountain boy from Clay County, he had passed through 
Asheville on his way to seek wider fields of opportunity in great 
Texas. He had now come back to his native hills, already famous 
throughout the nation as an eloquent minister of the gospel. 

In the evening, at one of the smaller churches, I heard the renowned 
Texan, B. H. Carroll, for the first and only time. Those who were 
competent to judge in such matters reported that it was a deep and 
learned doctrinal discourse. Attending so many sessions of the con- 
vention throughout the week, together with the emotional upsurge 
of the Truett meeting at the Sunday morning hour, had left me with 
little enthusiasm for anything but sleep. After seeing that the great 
Carroll was safely launched on his hour and a quarter discourse, I 
promptly went to sleep! 

In the early days, Baptist churches, in voicing their approval of a 
candidate for the ministry, always spoke of the matter officially as 
"liberating the young man to exercise his gifts in the ministry." Later, 
if the candidate proved himself worthy and demonstrated to the 
church and the public generally that he possessed gifts commensurate 
with the high calling to which he aspired, he was ordained. 

All through the years of my boyhood and young manhood, I heard 

34 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

much of a divine call to the ministry. Often the preachers I knew 
discoursed from the pulpit on the necessity for an unmistakable, 
heavenly call. There was held up before us the call of the Old 
Testament heroes and prophets— Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Isaiah. 
As we were led through the New Testament, we saw clearly the 
divine hand and heard the irresistible voice calling John the Baptist, 
the apostles, Barnabas, and Saul. Especially was great stress laid 
upon the conversion and call of Saul of Tarsus. 

From the time I professed Christ and joined the church at eleven 
until I was twenty-four years of age I was greatly concerned, and 
at times deeply troubled, over the question of what I should do in 
life. I held such an idealistic and lofty conception of the ministry 
that I did not feel that I could ever be woithy to enter upon the duties 
of such a sacred calling. When I compared my experience with that 
of ministers whom I heard relate their experiences, I knew I had not 
been called to the responsibilities of such a high and holy office. 

One incident in my boyhood exerted a great influence upon the 
decisions of those early days, as well as upon the conduct of all of 
my later life. I am not sure of the time, but I think it must have 
been soon after I joined the church, that Mother told me how before 
I was born, she had prayed and yearned for her third child to be 
a boy and for God to make him a preacher. At that time, she was 
not openly a professing Christian or a member of the church. I re- 
member distinctly, although I was only about five years of age, 
Mother making a profession of faith in Christ at a revival meeting 
at Old Orange Methodist Church. She had put the younger children, 
including myself, on a quilt under the bench; I remember being 
awakened by the shouts of the people, seeing the sputtering tallow 
candles with which the church was lighted, and hearing the people 
say that my mother had been converted. My judgment after all the 
years is that Mother was at the time already a believer in Christ, but 
that she had never openly confessed her faith until that night. 

When I started to high school in the fall of 1896, the old long- 
ing to be a preacher came over me afresh, but I kept the matter 
locked in my own heart and never breathed to anyone the turmoil 
and unrest of my soul over the momentous question of my life's 
calling and responsibility. 

Finally, I mustered up sufficient courage to talk the matter over 
with my pastor, the Reverend J. F. Duffie. Sympathetic and helpful, 
he insisted that I allow him to take the matter to the church, asking 

Teaching and Preaching 35 

that I be "liberated to exercise my gifts in the ministry." I was very 
skeptical of possessing any "gifts" in the direction indicated. Being 
afflicted with a terrible sense of unworthiness, self-consciousness, and 
timidity, I refused for several months to consent to the matter being 
brought to the attention of the church. 

During the annual revival, as the service was closing one after- 
noon, the pastor, without consulting me, announced that the church 
would meet the next morning at ten o'clock for a prayer meeting and 
added, "Brother Charlie Maddry will lead." This announcement threw 
me into a dither of nervous excitement and dread! What was I to 
say next morning? I had never attempted to speak in church, and 
the very thought of such an undertaking left me in a panic. On 
reaching home, I took my Bible and went off to the woods, where I 
stretched out on the pine needles under a great tree. I spent two hours 
praying as best I knew how for divine help for the ordeal of the next 
morning. My mind finally settled on the Isaiah 55. I spent the hours 
until twilight, meditating on this great Scripture and praying for 
guidance in this crucial hour. 

It seemed to me that everyone was present the next morning— 
kinfolks, playmates, stern deacons, critical old ladies in split bonnets, 
and members of the gang of gay young swains with whom I had 
engaged in the semi-forbidden things upon which the church frowned. 

My first attempt to lead a church was not, to say the least, a glowing 
success. It wound up in an emotional breakdown. After the pastor led 
a closing prayer, I slipped out a side door of the church to seek 
composure and solitude in the woods adjoining the church grove. The 
devil came in a terrific onslaught saying: "That was a ridiculous 
spectacle you made of yourself, and you thought you were called to 
preach! I would never try again!" I went home in the depths of despair. 
My disappointment and sense of frustration and defeat can only be 
understood by one who has undergone a like experience. 

Some two years passed, and I was nearly half-way through my 
sophomore year at the University. On the first Sunday in December, 
1899, Father came by the school and took me with him to the 
Saturday meeting at Mt. Moriah Church. The pastor preached; then 
he called the church together into conference. After all the business 
for the month was finished, the pastor came back into the congrega- 
tion where I was sitting and said to me, "What have you decided to 
do about this matter of surrendering your life to Christ for the 
ministry?" When I replied that I had been unable to reach any decision 

36 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

in the matter, he said that he was going to request the church to 
license me to preach. At once I was in a panic of fear and indecision. 
Although I begged him not to mention the matter to the church be- 
cause of my uncertainty, he went back to the pulpit and stated to 
the church, in substance, that God had called Charlie Maddry to 
preach, but that he had been fighting the call for years. He recom- 
mended that the church set its seal of approval upon the young man 
by "liberating him to exercise his gifts as a candidate for the ministry." 
Some brother made a motion that this be done; the motion received 
a second and the pastor announced that the matter was open for 
discussion. There was a painful pause, and at last elderly Deacon 
Nash Cheek, himself a licensed preacher, rose to say that he thought 
highly of the young man, that he had known his grandfather and 
father before him. He said he had no objection to "liberating" the 
young man but that he had never heard him preach and did not 
know whether he had any gifts for the ministry. He suggested, there- 
fore, that the motion be laid on the table for the present and that 
an appointment be made for the young man to preach some Sunday 
afternoon in the near future, after which the church could decide 
the question upon its merits. 

Thinking the time had now come for me to speak, I arose to remind 
the church that I had not requested the action contemplated. I re- 
minded them further that granting me license to preach would not 
make me a preacher unless God had called me, and that withholding 
such action would not keep me from being a preacher if this was 
God's plan for my life. I added that I had no intention of preaching a 
"sample" sermon; and moreover, I had several years ahead of me in 
the University and seminary if I should decide to preach. After making 
it plain that I was not seeking the action contemplated by the church, 
I left the matter in their hands. There was further discussion, the 
pastor urging favorable action. Finally Brother Cheek graciously 
withdrew his objection, and Mt. Moriah Church "liberated" me to 
exercise my "gifts as a candidate for the ministry." One more step 
was taken toward my becoming a preacher. 

Most of the Negroes with whom I grew up in the Presswood Creek 
community were members of Mount Sinai Baptist Church, located 
some five miles away on New Hope Creek. Since there was preaching 
only once each month at Sinai, the Negroes of the local community 
conducted a Sunday school at Rosemary, their district schoolhouse, 
which adjoined my father's farm. Shortly after Mount Moriah granted 

Teaching and Preaching 37 

me license to preach, Rosemary friends sent one of their leaders, 
a life-long friend, to search me out at the University for the purpose 
of expressing to me their unbounded joy over the good news that I 
had decided to enter the ministry. They also expressed the sincere 
hope that I would honor the Rosemary congregation with my first 
effort to preach the gospel. This friend assured me that they were all 
"hongry" to hear me, and I accepted their invitation, setting an early 
date for my visit. 

On the appointed day, with joy in my heart that the Lord had 
provided one congregation who believed in me and wanted to hear 
me try to preach, I made my way three miles over the hills to my old 
home on Presswood Creek. I looked forward with keen delight to the 
privilege of speaking to those friends who were always sympathetic 
and responsive. Then this thought came to trouble me: suppose the 
news had gone abroad that I was to make my first effort to preach 
that day and the kinspeople and neighbors, other than my colored 
friends, should be present to hear me! I knew that my style would 
be decidedly cramped if my fear proved correct. 

I reached home in this troubled state of mind, and found Mother 
in the kitchen preparing dinner. Upon my asking the whereabouts 
of Father, she said that he was in the "big house" dressing to go 
with me to Rosemary. I told her that I was badly scared already and 
that I certainly would be in a nervous dither if Father attended the 
service. She said she would try to persuade him not to go. In a short 
time, she returned to say that, while he was keenly disappointed, 
he would forego the pleasure of hearing my first attempt to preach. 

The congregation was out in full force. The older men and women 
present had been born in slavery and knew the bitterness of human 
bondage. They had gone through the terrible days of Reconstruction 
and the never-to-be-forgotten terrors of the Ku Klux Klan. Several 
of them were Baptist deacons, and the majority owned their own 

They gave me a warm and enthusiastic welcome. The presiding 
officer conducted the service with dignity and dispatch. The congre- 
gation sang several spirituals that had been favorites of mine from 
childhood. An opportunity was then given for all to speak who 
desired to do so. Most of the older heads spoke words of appreciation 
and good wishes for the young visitor. 

About twelve o'clock, all minds being at ease, I was presented to 
the congregation by the chairman. He reminded the congregation 

38 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

that my grandfather, Captain Abel Maddry, had been the unfailing 
friend of their fathers during the bitter days of slavery, and that he 
had championed their rights in the old days before the war when the 
black "servants" were members of Mount Moriah Church along with 
the white "masters." He recalled the service Grandfather had ren- 
dered the newly-freed black people in 1868 when, as chairman of 
the committee from Mount Moriah Church, he had led in the organi- 
zation of Mount Sinai Church. He further reminded his audience 
of the never-failing friendship of my father for them through all 
the years since the home-going of my grandfather. 

After expressing my sincere gratitude that these friends of all the 
years since childhood had been the first to invite me to speak to them 
in my new role as a candidate for the ministry, I reminded them that I 
was not yet a preacher and that long years of toil and study lay ahead 
before I would be prepared for the work of a full-fledged minister. 

I then read the tenth verse of the fourth chapter of Zechariah: 
"For who hath despised the day of small things." I simply pointed 
out the way in which Divine Providence had seemed to lead me since 
childhood. I drew the conclusion that it all clearly indicated that my 
desire and purpose to become a minister had the approval of the 
Great Head of the Church. I closed with an earnest appeal that these 
early and devoted friends bear me up continuously in their prayers, 
asking that God would make me humble and worthy preacher of the 
gospel of Jesus Christ. The service closed with many devout "aniens." 

Thirty-two years after, I was formally invited to come back to 
Rosemary for the anniversary of that first sermon. There were five 
present who had heard me on the former visit, and one brother even 
remembered the text. The singing was glorious, and all present had a 
joyous time. 

In the old days before the Chapel Hill Baptist Church was organ- 
ized, the Baptists of the University village affiliated with the Mount 
Carmel Church, located four miles south of Chapel Hill. Dr. William 
Hooper, noted scholar and teacher, minister of the Episcopal Church 
and professor at the University, was baptized into the fellowship 
of Mount Carmel Church by Reverend Patrick W. Dowd in 1831. 
He later became president of Wake Forest College. 

On Friday evening before the first Sunday in June, 1900, Reverend 
W. D. Bostick sought me out at the University and said that he was 
called away for a funeral and wanted me to preach for him at Mount 
Carmel Sunday morning. I tried in every way to get out of the assign- 

Teaching and Preaching 39 

ment, but the pastor said that he had tried every possibility and that 
I was his last hope. I finally consented to go. He informed me that 
Professor J. W. Gore, who was a member of the church at Mount 
Carmel, would lend me his horse and two-seated phaeton for the 
trip. The congregation was small. The sermon was noted neither for 
substance or homiletic merit, but I did the best I could. The people 
were appreciative and considerate. 

On the first Sunday in July, the pastor was again called away and 
sent me in his place. Perhaps I did a little better on this second trip. 
After the service was over, a small group of men gathered about me 
in the church yard. One of the leading members of the church, a 
man who was reputed to be "well fixed" in material things, said, 
"Brethren, this young man has supplied our pulpit for two months. 
We ought not to allow him to go away without paying him a small 
sum, anyway." 

Reaching into his pocket, he brought out a long, rusty-looking 
leather bag of a purse, snapped it open, fished among the bills and 
silver dollars, and brought forth a quarter of a dollar. Holding out 
his hand to the half-dozen men in the circle, he said, "Come on, 
brethren. Let's give the young brother at least a small token of our 

The men began to feel in their pockets and search their clothes, 
but little was forthcoming. I never heard of so many men in one 
group who said they had changed clothes that morning and left 
their purses at home! Finally, one brother found ten cents and another 
found a nickel. The prominent brother presented me with forty 
cents and expressed his regret that the offering was not larger. I 
protested that I did not expect anything, but I accepted the gift. It 
was the first money I ever received for preaching— forty cents for 
two sermons! I went on my way certain that I had been overpaid. 

During the two years of my stay in the University, I was actively 
affiliated with the Baptist church of the village. I attended Sunday 
school and prayer meeting and sang in the choir. The pastor at this 
time was the noted ex-Confederate chaplain and "unreconstructed 
rebel," Dr. J. William Jones of Virginia. 

In July, 1901, just after I had been elected County Superintendent 
of Schools, the pastor, who was going on his vacation, invited me 
to supply the pulpit for two Sunday mornings during his absence. 
Dr. Jones said that my many friends in the village were eager to hear 
me preach and insisted that I give them this opportunity. 

40 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

I had known everybody in the community from childhood. Many 
relatives were in the town and surrounding country. I had spent 
two years in high school with the children and young people of the 
village. To the business people and housewives I was plain "Charlie 
Maddry," the awkward, overgrown country boy who sold produce 
and firewood to the folk of the town. Now it was rumored that I 
had been "called" to preach and was going to make my first appear- 
ance in the new role at the Baptist church the next Sunday morning. 

During the week I suffered much doubt as to what I should say 
in my first sermon to my home folk. I remembered what Jesus had 
said about the honor of a prophet among his people and in his own 
house. I prayed much and prepared the best I could. 

The little church was filled. It seemed to me that everybody was 
there. The University summer school students, mainly school- 
teachers, came out in considerable numbers; several members of the 
faculty were present. I was scared and embarrassed, but whatever I 
may have lacked in polish and scriptural insight was counterbalanced 
by simple, unpretentious earnestness. The friends were kind and 
appreciative. One more great hurdle had been surmounted in my 
struggle to become a minister; I had faced the dreaded ordeal of 
preaching before my home folks and had found it not so bad! The 
pastor came back and, to my surprise, gave me a check for ten 
dollars— five dollars each for two sermons! I felt he had paid me 
far too much! 

Sometime later, in the absence of the pastor, I preached at night. 
After service, I was escorting a young lady home, and we were walk- 
ing some fifteen feet behind one of the deacons. It was dark and the 
street was unlighted. I heard the wife of the deacon say, "What did 
you think of the sermon?" The deacon replied, "Well, the young 
brother covered all the territory from Genesis to Revelation." 

The county town of Hillsboro played an important role in my life. 
It had been laid out in 1754 and from the very beginning had been 
a center of culture and political influence in the life of the state. The 
Regulator trouble and the tragedy of Alamance had centered in 
this western outpost. The first open struggle of the oppressed masses 
in America for freedom from British tyranny and oppression had had 
its center in the frontier country town. Hillsboro was the capital of 
the state during the latter years of the Revolution. Here Cornwallis 
made his headquarters after the costly battle at Guilford Court House. 
Here, in 1788, the famous Constitutional Convention, after many 

Teaching and Preaching 41 

weeks of bitter debate, rejected the Federal Constitution by one 
hundred votes. Through all the years down to the present day, Hills- 
boro has been the home of many leaders in the life of the state and 
the nation— governors, United States senators, Supreme Court judges, 
and others prominent in various phases of the life of North Carolina 
and the Union. 

In the years before the Civil War and for two decades after the 
surrender, the Baptists had flourished and played a worthy part in 
the religious life of the community. However, in the closing years of 
the nineteenth century, the Baptist church had lost in membership 
and declined in strength until in 1901 there were just twenty-one 
members. An absentee pastor came only once a month to preach at 
the morning and night services. The salary paid was seventy-five 
dollars a year, and the rent of the small parsonage constituted the 
major portion of this amount. 

I was invited to supply the pulpit on the fourth Sunday in July, 
1901. After accepting the invitation, I hired a horse and buggy from 
a livery stable and drove the twelve miles from Chapel Hill on 
Sunday morning. When I arrived at the church, there were two young 
ladies sitting on the steps. One of them, whom I had met some months 
before at a picnic, introduced me to her friend who was the church 
organist. Five years later, I married the church organist whom I met 
that morning. 

Since there was no preaching in the town on this day except at the 
Episcopal church, the congregations from the Baptist, Methodist, and 
Presbyterian churches were out in full force. They had heard of 
the young student who had dared oppose and defeat the long-time 
county superintendent of schools, and they filled the Baptist Church 
to see what he could do in the preaching line. It was a trying hour 
for the young minister. Just before I read my text, a deacon came to 
the pulpit and asked me to announce preaching for eight o'clock that 
evening. To my inquiry as to who would preach, he replied, "You, 
of course." I protested that I must return to Chapel Hill that after- 
noon, since I had hired a horse from the livery stable and had promised 
to return the rig before dark. Remaining deaf to all the appeals of the 
deacon to stay over and preach that night, I announced that there 
would be no evening service. I failed to tell the deacon and the con- 
gregation my real reason for not preaching at night. I had but one 
meager sermon, combined from the only two I had made up to that 

42 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

Upon invitation of the church, I preached for them again the fourth 
Sunday morning in August. I spent the night at the hotel and paid 
the bill myself. I settled the livery stable bill incurred on the first 
trip as soon as I got my first pay as superintendent of schools. 

The church forgot to pay me anything for these first efforts, but the 
Lord paid me most bountifully in giving me, out of the trip, the 
lovely and unsurpassed bride who has unfalteringly walked by my 
side for almost fifty years! 


Dedication and Preparation 

In the spring of 1904, at the age of twenty-eight, I was compelled to 
face a new crisis in my lifework. For many years the conviction had 
been growing upon me that the Great Head of the Church had 
called me into the ministry. It gradually dawned upon me that I 
was making slow progress in entering fully and completely upon my 
lifework. I was a pastor— or more accurately, supply preacher— for 
four weak and undeveloped churches, with a total membership of 
less than two hundred and fifty, active and inactive. To these churches, 
scattered over the northern half of Orange County, I preached 
regularly eight times each month, thus being compelled to drive 
over a hundred miles every month, in all kinds of weather, over 
roads and trails that were all but impassable half the year round. 
Since I had not received any special training for the work of the 
ministry, patient and devoted country deacons taught me how to 
conduct a church conference, baptize believers, and administer the 
Lord's Supper. There was no special training for the young people 
in any of my churches, but a Sunday school of sorts was usually carried 
on from April until Christmas. 

After three years with my field of churches, I realized that I was 
trying to do the work of two men in dividing myself between the 
county school work and the work of the churches. I realized that 
since I was not doing either job effectively, a choice must soon be 
made between the two. I wanted to preach, and I found the people 
eager to hear and responsive to the appeal of the gospel. Because 
there was little time for study, sermon preparation was made at 
night and during the long drives over the county. All in all, I felt a 
growing sense of dissatisfaction with existing conditions and knew 
that soon I would have to face the whole matter and make a decision 
that would affect, in a far-reaching way, all the years of my life. 

Three years devoted to the work of public education in Orange 


44 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

County had fully awakened me to the pitiable and desperate need 
for aggressive leadership in the schools of the county. All the progres- 
sive people had responded to my leadership by favoring a forward- 
looking program for better school buildings, better teaching, longer 
school terms, and more money for public education. When I came to 
cast up accounts, I was surprised and delighted with the progress 
we had made in so short a time. It all convinced me of the fact that 
the school work was a full-time job for a man trained in modern 
school methods. Since I had not had such training, I realized that 
sooner or later a trained educational person would be needed for the 
best interests of the children of the county. When I made known my 
purpose to spend some time in study at the Southern Baptist The- 
ological Seminary, the Board of Education, voted to elect an acting 
superintendent, hoping that at the end of nine months I would return 
to my old job. With this in mind, my former pastor and devoted friend, 
Reverend John C. Hocutt, was elected acting superintendent. 

The school people wanted me to stay; the dear people in the 
churches said that my preaching was good enough for them and 
urged me not to leave them. I remember saying to a saintly woman, 
who was insisting that all the people in the churches were satisfied 
with my preaching, that I was afraid that those coming on twenty 
years in the future would not be content with the ministry of an 
untrained preacher. 

I sold my horse and buggy and settled all my affairs in Hillsboro 
and then went over to Chapel Hill to complete a transaction which 
brought great satisfaction to my heart. At various times during my 
years in the University, I had been compelled to borrow small sums 
from the Deems Fund— a loan fund established for the help of 
needy students. My total loans for the four years amounted to only 
one hundred and fifty dollars. At various times Horace Williams, 
Collier Cobb, S. M. Gattis, John T. Weaver, and Tom Strain had 
signed notes with me for these loans. I had promised them that the 
notes would be paid off at the earliest possible moment after I left 
school. I found that I could pay off all I owed in Orange County, 
including these loans from the University, and still have enough left 
to buy my ticket to Louisville. President Venable insisted that I would 
need the money for expenses in Louisville, and that the Deems Fund 
note could wait. However, I felt that I must keep faith with the men 
who had signed those notes with me. Therefore, I paid them off 
and left, completely free of debt. I set out, poor in this world's goods, 

Dedication and Preparation 45 

but rich in faith that the generous Friend who had seen me through 
college would stand by me in my further efforts to prepare for my 
life's work. 

On my last visit to Mars Hill Church, located three miles north 
of Hillsboro, I was surprised to see Mr. Edmund Strudwick and his 
young son come in as the service was beginning. He was a native of 
Hillsboro and a member of one of the most distinguished Presbyterian 
families in the county. He had risen rapidly in the business world, 
and was then president of the South Atlantic Life Insurance Company 
of Richmond, Virginia. He heard the announcements of the day con- 
cerning my departure in a few days for Louisville. I met him on the 
street the next morning, and to my surprise, he asked me if I had 
funds sufficient for my expenses while in the seminary. I replied that 
after all debts were paid, I had just enough for my expenses to 
Louisville. He inquired further as to how I expected to meet my obli- 
gations during my years of study in the seminary. I told him that I 
was going out in faith that work would open up and that I would find 
some way to finance the undertaking as the need arose from time to 

Mr. Strudwick then said that he would like to invest something 
in my further training for the ministry. He gave me his address and 
instructed me to write him when I needed funds for current expenses 
while in the theological school. I borrowed small sums from him from 
time to time as the need arose, giving my notes to be repaid with 
interest. The total amount borrowed was $200. When I sent the 
first payment on the notes, I received a gracious letter from him 
saying that I need not send any further payments and that he was 
enclosing the cancelled notes. Thus God raised up an unexpected 
friend in another hour of need during my years of preparation for 
the work of the ministry. 

Ever since that December day in 1900, when my home church at 
Mount Moriah set its seal of approval upon my life's purpose to 
become a minister, I had dreamed of the day when I could enter the 
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky. 

On the first day of October, 1904, along with some three hundred 
other students from widely scattered states and nations, I registered. 
I was tremendously impressed by the learning and ability of the 
faculty. It was a high privilege to sit at the feet of such men as 
E. Y. Mullins, A. T. Robertson, John R. Sampey, W. O. Carver, E. C. 
Dargan, and W. J. McGlothlin. Each was outstanding in his own field. 

46 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

I still consider it one of the greatest blessings that ever came to me 
as an unworthy preacher of Christ's gospel— the high privilege of 
studying the Word of God for these months under the inspiration 
and guidance of such worthy and renowned teachers. 

In the light of after years, I realize now more fully the value 
and worth of the fellowship and blessed associations formed during 
those crowded years of hard work at Louisville. Hidden from all 
human eyes at that time was the fact that the God of missions was 
preparing for a critical and testing time in the life of the Southern 
Baptists and their foreign mission work. A leader would be needed, 
together with a band of devoted men and women to support him and 
hold up his hands. Looking back now, I realize with humility and 
gratitude that all unknown to me or my associates, teachers and 
students, God was leading me on. In after years, many of these 
friends and fellow students of the Louisville years became staunch 
supporters and loyal helpers in the work of foreign missions, in state 
conventions, and in churches throughout the territory of tire Southern 
Baptist Convention. Many of them, from time to time, were members 
of the Foreign Mission Board, state secretaries, editors of Baptist 
papers, pastors of loyal and devoted churches, and foreign mis- 

Among those whom I knew in Louisville who, in later years, were 
to become pastors of great missionary churches were: J. Clyde Turner, 
A. Paul Bagby, W. F. Powell, C. B. Arendall, W. C. James, T. V. 
McCaul, W. C. Barrett, J. R. Jester, and W. O. Patterson. 

Some of the candidates for service in the foreign mission fields, dur- 
ing those days of 1904-1906 were: J. H. Rowe, E. L. Morgan and wife, 
J. W. Shepard, Miss Cynthia Miller, Miss Alice Huey, Miss Rena 
Groover, C. K. Dozier, G. W. Bouldin, Dr. and Mrs. B. L. Lockett, 
H. H. Muirhead, O. P. Maddox and wife, Miss Maud Burke, Miss 
Sophia Lanneau, and W. W. Adams. 

A few weeks after I entered the seminary, President Mullins sent 
for me to come to his office. He said the church at Mitchell, Indiana, 
had requested him to send them a preacher for the next Sunday and 
asked me to fill the engagement. I accepted the invitation and 
preached for the Mitchell church Sunday morning and night. They 
invited me back the next Sunday and in a few weeks offered to 
call me as pastor for full time. I soon realized, however, that my work 
in school was so heavy that it was not best for me to undertake to 
serve a church as full-time pastor. 

Dedication and Preparation 47 

In November, 1904, just after I declined the call at Mitchell, an 
opportunity to become pastor of a fine church in the Bluegrass section 
of Kentucky unexpectedly opened to me. One of the seniors, with 
whom I had become an intimate friend, came to my room with a 
letter from a deacon of the Evergreen Church at Farmdale, Kentucky, 
requesting him to send them a supply preacher for the next Sunday 
morning service. He offered me the opportunity to go, saying that 
they paid $15.00 for a supply for one service. I was eager to preach 
and needed the money! I accepted without hesitation. 

I found that the Evergreen church, made up of some of the most 
loyal and devoted people I have ever known, was in a bad tangle over 
calling a pastor. For a generation they had always had a seminary 
student to serve them. After the church had heard two "candidates," 
one had been called by one majority. The losing side refused to make 
it unanimous. They were in a deadlock, with neither side willing to 
give in. 

All of this was known to me before I preached Sunday morning. 
It so happened that both of the men were my good friends in the 
seminary. Since I had not come with an expectation of a "call," I 
preached the best I could, had a good Kentucky dinner, and went 
back to Louisville on Sunday evening, content with a fine day enjoyed 
with the saints at Evergreen. 

Eight days later, I received a letter from the clerk saying that the 
church had held a special meeting on the Sunday following my visit, 
rescinded their former action, and called me unanimously as pastor 
for half-time at a salary of $25.00 per month. I accepted the call and 
spent fourteen months with this delightful church. Life-long friend- 
ships were formed here which have blessed and enriched all the 
later years of my ministry. 

But the months were passing rapidly, and soon it was time to 
be thinking of calls to pastorates and permanent locations. My heart 
turned with poignant and ever-increasing longing toward North 
Carolina. A call to a church in any state would have been welcome, 
but a call from some North Carolina congregation would have been 
especially welcome and appealing. 

In the early spring a letter came from a field of churches including 
Graham, Haw River, and Sweptsonville. The salary offered seemed 
princely— $800 per year and a home. I investigated, wrote letters of 
inquiry to the state secretary, prayed and waited. The weeks were 
slipping by, and there was no other call on the horizon. A lovely 

48 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

young lady was waiting for me down in the Tar Heel State, and a 
decision had to be made. Seemingly, all other doors were closed; 
Graham was open, and so the decision was made. 

I wrote two letters that night, one to the Graham Committee 
informing them of my acceptance of their call, and the other to the 
young lady informing her of the momentous decision. We would 
be married in May and begin life's journey together in the parsonage 
in Graham. 

It was late in the night when the decision was made and the 
letters written. On going out to drop the letters in the mail box in 
front of New York Hall, the student dormitory, I heard an inner voice, 
clear and unmistakable, which said: "It's all right to mail the letter 
to the 'young lady in waiting,' but the letter to the Graham committee 
can wait another day, at least." The inner voice was so unmistakable 
and clamorous that the letter to the church committee was left on 
my study table, while I went to bed with the conviction that the whole 
question of my future place of service was still far from being settled. 

Return to North Carolina 

Late in the fall of 1905, plans, long in the making, began to take 
shape for the organization of a new Baptist church near what was 
then the Normal and Industrial College in West Greensboro. The 
idea was born in the mind and heart of Dr. Livingston Johnson, 
former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Greensboro, who, in 
1905, was Corresponding Secretary of the North Carolina State 
Convention. The active leaders in the movement were O. Joe Howard, 
O. W. Monroe, J. S. Moore, O. Shell, C. E. Horton, W. E. Harrison, 
and Dr. Henry W. Battle. 

This group, working through Dr. Johnson, invited me to come 
and lead in this new undertaking. After much correspondence the 
offer was accepted, and in February, 1906, 1 began a ministry of three 
and one-half years in the Gate City. I was pastor of Southside, a small 
mission church in South Greensboro, for half the time. They paid 
$150 per year. The new mission in West Greensboro promised to 
pay $350 and the State Mission Board paid $500 per year for the work 
at the two mission points. 

The work grew rapidly, and in a month it was clearly seen that it 
would be wise to organize a Baptist Church in West Greensboro. 
Accordingly, on Sunday, March 11, the new church was constituted 
with forty-two members. 

The church grew so rapidly and the demand became so insistent 
for the full-time service of the pastor, that a church meeting was 
held on June 27, at which time I was unanimously called as pastor 
at a salary of $1,000 per year. A committee was appointed to confer 
with Southside Church, requesting that I be released from half-time 
service with them on November 1, so that all my time could be given 
to the rapidly growing new congregation. The Southside church 
relunctantly consented to the request, and I was released after a 
service of six months. 


50 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

On May 2, 1906, I married Emma Parker, daughter of T. B. Parker 
and Penelope Alderman Parker, in the Baptist Church in Hillsboro. 
The ceremony was performed by Dr. Hight C Moore, a relative of 
the bride, and the pastor of the church, Reverend A. C. Hamby. Dr. 
W. F. Powell, a seminary classmate and for many years pastor of the 
First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee, was best man. 

We began keeping house in Greensboro on Rankin Street. The 
panic of 1907 hit us hard, and the banks issued script instead of money. 
On December 13, 1907, our daughter, Katharine, was born. 

Some months later it seemed to me that I could leave the work 
at Forest Avenue without hindering the growth of the church. When 
an unexpected call came from the First Baptist Church, Statesville, 
I accepted. The church had but recently built and paid for a new 
building. While the auditorium was amply adequate for the some- 
thing less than three hundred members, facilities were wholly in- 
adequate for the growth and development of the Sunday school. 

The Statesville church has sent out a noted group of preachers 
and missionaries during the three-quarters of a century since it began 
its existence in the Court House in this pedo-Baptist stronghold. 
Dr. J. Clyde Turner, who became one of North Carolina's most noted 
and dynamic Baptist preachers, pastor of the First Church, Greens- 
boro for more than a generation, was saved, baptized, and licensed 
to preach in this church. His father, John C. Turner, was senior 
deacon during my pastorate with the church. 

This church sent forth Mrs. Maud Burke Dozier as a missionary to 
Japan. Southern Baptists never sent out a more successful and Christ- 
like missionary than this noble woman. Dr. Charles L. Leonard went 
out from this church to China. The church has always been missionary 
in its practice and outlook, and the missionary cause had a devoted 
and enthusiastic friend and a generous supporter in Miss Laura 
Lazenby and her noble brother, L. K. Lazenby. Miss Lazenby, a 
noted schoolteacher, was a woman of genuine culture who always 
put her church first. By dint of thrift and wise foresight, through a 
long life as a successful teacher, she accumulated a respectable 
estate. As the end drew near, she visited the Secretary of the Foreign 
Mission Board in Richmond and made all necessary legal arrange- 
ments for her entire estate to pass to the Foreign Mission Board at 
her death. 

In the fall of 1911, the Tabernacle of Raleigh invited me to make 
them a visit. It was one of the largest churches in North Carolina. 

Return to North Carolina 51 

Led by N. B. Broughton, the Sunday school for years had been one 
most advanced in the state in modern methods of teaching and evan- 
gelism. It seemed to offer an outstanding opportunity for a wider 
service in the ministry. However, because of a decided distaste for the 
practice of preaching "sample" sermons before a church that was 
looking for a pastor, I declined the invitation to visit the church for 
the purpose of exhibiting samples as a candidate for the vacant 
pulpit. On the Monday morning following, I received the following 

Raleigh, N. C. Nov. 1 
Rev. Chas. E. Maddry 
Statesville, N. C. 

The Tabernacle Baptist Church of this city, in conference assembled tonight, 
extends unanimous call to you to become its pastor and prayer was made that 
the Lord should lead you to acceptance of same. Letter will follow. 

N. B. Broughton 

I accepted the invitation and on the first Sunday in December, 1911, 
began work in Raleigh as pastor of the Tabernacle. 

Needham B. Broughton was a remarkable man of many talents. 
Born in 1848, eleven years before the outbreak of the Civil War, he 
knew the poverty and hardship of that terrible struggle and the 
greater social and economic upheaval of the long drawn out years 
of reconstruction. 

After coming to Raleigh in early manhood, with limited formal 
education and without the backing of men of wealth and influence, he 
made a commanding place for himself in the business and religious 
world that was unique and unsurpassed. He educated himself, and 
by dint of uprightness of character and industry, established a print- 
ing, engraving, and bookbinding establishment that has grown and 
expanded through more than three-quarters of a century, until today 
the firm of Edwards and Broughton has become one of the largest of 
its kind in the South and is a synonym for careful workmanship and 
honesty in the business world. 

N. B. Broughton was a pioneer in modern Sunday school methods, 
and before the turn of the century he had made the Tabernacle 
Sunday school famous for its advanced methods of teaching, effec- 
tive organization, and evangelism. Throngs of children and young 
people were drawn into the life of the church. The church was a 
center of evangelism, and the "Lord added to them day by day those 
who were being saved." 

52 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

The Tabernacle Church has been a veritable beehive of activity 
in the discovery and training of leaders for church and Sunday school 
activities. More than a score of young ministers have gone out from 
this church. Among the many who have become widely known in 
the religious world was the gifted theological teacher, scholar, and 
author of theological works— Dr. James McKee Adams. 

The four and one-half years at Tabernacle were fruitful in the 
service of Christ's gospel and at the same time were years filled with 
hard work and much travail of soul in trying to be a faithful minister. 
Substantial progress was made in all phases of the work. There were 
many organized classes which were great factors in the life of the 
church. They were evangelistic agencies and did much to boost the 
attendance at every service. R. N. Simms and his sister, Mrs. Moseley, 
organized the first Baraca Class in the state, and the class, still taught 
by Mr. Simms, has had an honorable and remarkable part in the life 
and work of the Tabernacle. Other influential classes, taught by 
Major J. J. Bernard, Miss Maud Reid, J. M. Broughton, Sr., and E. H. 
Broughton, have all been mighty forces in the life and growth of the 

But the pride of the Sunday school was the unique "Infant Class" 
taught for a half century by "Mr. Joe and Miss Ida" Weathers. They 
were remarkable teachers and boosters. Not having any children, 
they loved and adopted all the children within the circle of the Taber- 
nacle influence and loved them as their very own. This class was the 
pet and pride of the Sunday school and church. 

N. B. Broughton made much of special days and exalted the idea 
of organized classes. He was far ahead of his day in Sunday school 
methods but was slow to take up the idea of a graded Sunday school. 
When his nephew, J. M. Broughton, Jr., came back from Harvard 
with his law degree, N. B. Broughton was a sick man. Young Melville 
had taught school for some time and had also been acting county 
superintendent of schools for Wake County. He saw at once that 
the next forward step in growth was the grading of the Sunday school. 
He was made associate superintendent, and with the support of the 
pastor and many of the teachers, the Sunday school was graded. 

To attract and hold the people, I saw that much time must be 
given to study and sermon preparation. The pastoral work of the 
church was heavy indeed. There were always the many sick to be 
visited and the poor to be cared for. There were few automobiles in 
Raleigh in those days, and certainly the pastor did not have one. The 

Return to North Carolina 53 

house-to-house visiting required much walking. There were many 
funerals to be conducted. The former members of the Tabernacle 
were scattered widely in other states. When sorrow and death came, 
it was frequently the Tabernacle that was called upon to minister in 
the last hours of distress and need. All together, the work of preaching, 
church administration, and pastoral duties made a heavy load for 
one man, though he was young and vigorous. 

Moreover, the church did not provide any assistance, except in 
the music program. There was a large and splendid choir, directed by 
a trained and efficient leader, but the choir director and the organist 
were the only paid workers besides the pastor. 

During the first two years with the church, I did the preaching in 
the annual spring revival meetings of 1912 and 1913. There were 
eighty-odd additions in each meeting. The whole church was organ- 
ized as far as possible for these meetings. A great deal of visiting 
and personal work was done. The pastor, deacons, Sunday school 
teachers, and leaders of women's work went afield for the lost, and 
the results were highly satisfactory. I have found that it is always 
effective and profitable for the pastor to hold his own evangelistic 
meetings as often as possible. 

In 1914, led by the pastor, Reverend Walter N. Johnson, the church 
at Wake Forest launched an enthusiastic effort to erect a church 
building on the campus. Since the organization of the church, the 
congregation had worshiped in the college chapel. The whole de- 
nomination was conscious of the need for a separate house of worship 
at the college. A convention committee was appointed to work with 
the local Wake Forest church committee in the endeavor to raise the 
money needed from the churches for the undertaking. I was made 
chairman of this committee. Brother Johnson was made chairman of 
the local church committee and we worked together in fullest sym- 
pathy and understanding for the success of the undertaking. The 
Wake Forest Church did its part nobly. The trustees of the college 
gave the site for the new church. When the enterprise was well begun, 
Chairman Johnson was taken ill, and the whole weight of leadership 
fell upon my shoulders. This extra work, in addition to the labors 
of a large and exacting pastorate, all but crushed me, but somehow 
the venture was carried through to the successful and triumphant 
conclusion. I wrote many hundreds of letters and traveled widely 
among the churches soliciting funds for the completion of the enter- 
prise. The church was finished and paid for, and the long deferred 

54 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

dream of the Baptists of North Carolina was realized— a beautiful and 
well-appointed church house stood on the campus at Wake Forest. 

Texas Calls 

In the early spring of 1916 there came an invitation from the 
pulpit committee of the University Baptist Church of Austin, Texas, 
that I make them a visit looking to a call to the pastorate of their 
church. After some investigation and correspondence with friends 
in Texas, I decided not to make the visit. At Easter time, Mrs. R. H. 
Baker, a leading member of the Austin Church, who had been visiting 
her son in Philadelphia, spent Easter Sunday in Raleigh. With con- 
vincing enthusiasm she laid the appeal of the University Church 
on my heart in such a way that I could not get away from the im- 
pression that God was calling me to this hard but compelling task. 
The University of Texas was growing rapidly and with its wealth 
in oil lands was destined to be one of the richest schools in the 
land. The lands allocated by the state to the University were already 
becoming valuable. 

Around the turn of the centuiy, a faithful and devoted group of 
professors and a few leading citizens, led by Judge John C. Townes, 
Dean of the University Law School, had organized the University 
Church. They had bought a small chapel from the Presbyterians two 
and one-half blocks from the main entrance to the University. Here 
the little church, consisting of less than two hundred members, was 
worshiping when they invited me to be their pastor and lead in the 
effort to build a worthy church plant across from the campus. A 
splendid lot had been bought and paid for. 

Looking back now after a thud of a century, I can see clearly the 
human factors that led up to the decision to move to Texas. Without 
adequate assistance, the ever-increasing load of preaching and pas- 
toral work incident to a large church in Raleigh was more than one 
man could successfully carry. The pastoral work alone was more than 
one man could do, since the membership was widely scattered over 
the city, and there was no way to reach it except by daily, continuous 
walking. I was forty years old and knew the time had come for 
harder and more systematic study of the Word of God if I was 
ever to attain to the dream of the years of becoming a good preacher. 
Through all the years, the growing passion for world missions had 
dominated my life. In this move into a new fellowship, I felt that 
God was leading me into greater open doors for world service. 

r ~i 

University Church, Austin, Texas 

I reached Austin June 1, 1916, and was met at the train by Judge 
John C. Townes, Dean of the University Law School and chairman 
of the Board of Deacons of the University Church. He was a gentle, 
Christ-like man, loved and honored by everyone. After being enter- 
tained in his home for a few days, I secured a room at the Y. M. C. A. 
My wife and little girl stayed in Raleigh until early in September. 

On the first Sunday in June, 1916, I preached my initial sermon 
before a congregation which filled the small chapel of the church. 
Dr. J. B. Gambrell, General Secretary of the Executive Board of the 
Baptist General Convention of Texas, came to be with me that day. 
He would not preach but consented to "greet" the people at the 
close of the service. It was a typical Gambrell deliverance, which 
delighted the people. 

I had just gone through two years of intense and consuming effort 
as chairman of the convention committee trying to persuade the 
churches of North Carolina to build a worthy church and educational 
plant at Wake Forest. I realized at once that there was no commit- 
ment by the state board or denominational leaders of Texas of a 
definite amount which the denomination was willing to invest in a 
church plant near the University of Texas. I found also that the Uni- 
versity Church, composed largely of professors, students, and people 
directly or indirectly connected with the University, had no practical 
conception of die cost of an adequate church plant for the spiritual 
welfare of the hundreds of Baptist students. I preached that June 
Sunday morning with a sense of humility and the utter need of divine 

At the night service on this first Sunday in Austin, I baptized four 
fine students into the fellowship of the church. I soon saw that the 
work with students was vastly different from what I had been used 
to in former pastorates in North Carolina. This was more individual 


56 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

and took time and patience. The general evangelistic appeal from the 
pulpit had to be preceded by much personal work and teaching; the 
social contacts were highly valuable and fruitful. 

I spent the summer months visiting and getting acquainted with 
the local membership of the church. It was hot, hard work walking 
over the white limestone streets and byways of North Austin trying 
to arouse and enlist the contingent of the congregation that was out- 
side the University faculty-student group. 

The latter part of August, before going back to North Carolina to 
bring my family out to Texas, I decided to make a trip to Dallas for 
a conference with Dr. Gambrell concerning the extent to which the 
State Mission Board was willing to help in financing the proposed 
new building. 

Truly one of the greatest Baptist leaders of his generation, Dr. 
Gambrell was a man of the common people— simple, modest, un- 
assuming. His manner before an audience was easy, and his speech 
was leisurely and understandable even to the most unlearned. Little 
children delighted to hear him, and, like his Lord, "the common 
people heard him gladly." His choice of simple Anglo-Saxon words 
was impressive, and no listener ever failed to understand his mean- 
ing. At times his audiences were moved from laughter to tears or to 
impressive silence. He was a combination of wit, humor, pathos, and 
simple greatness, all in one, often with each trait struggling for the 
mastery in the same breath. 

Moreover, he had an imposing personality, with his fine physique, 
ruddy complexion, white hair, and white cropped beard. His dress 
was plain, at times almost to the point of shabbiness; his manners 
were simple and refined. He had been a famous Confederate captain 
under Lee and was one of his most dependable and trusted scouts. 
Even in age, he carried himself with an erectness and grace that 
singled him out in any gathering. 

Such was the man that the Baptists of Texas and the South loved 
and delighted to honor. He was at various times editor of the Baptist 
Standard, state secretary of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, 
and president of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Therefore, it was with a sense of humility that I faced the great 
man across his desk on that August morning. I had come as a humble 
suppliant, seeking denominational funds for a needed and long- 
neglected state Baptist enterprise located at the main entrance of 
the fast-growing University of Texas. I knew that success or failure of 

University Church, Austin, Texas 57 

the plans depended upon the work of this trusted and beloved leader 
of the Texas Baptist hosts. And now, at last, I was to hear in terms 
of dollars and cents to what extent the great leader was willing to 
commit the denomination to the long-dreamed-of undertaking. 

Before getting down to business, we sparred with each other for 
some minutes over small and commonplace trivialities. Dr. Gambrell 
was completely at ease and busied himself, as he expatiated on the 
virtues of daily economy, by trimming his beard with the shears 
on his desk while explaining that he saved a barber's bill by trimming 
his own whiskers. I attempted to lead him back to the theme of the 
building of a worthy church plant near the University of Texas. This 
provoked a thirty-minute dissertation on the manner in which the 
great enterprise could be carried through to a successful conclusion 
if all concerned would do their best— the local church, the State Board, 
and the wealthy friends scattered over Texas. After reminding him 
that the local church had about exhausted itself in the purchase of the 
magnificent site, I tried repeatedly to pin him down to a definite 
statement as to the amount the State Board would give toward the 
undertaking. He continued to speak in expansive terms of how it 
would take patience, faith, and hard work to accomplish the under- 
taking. Since I was getting nowhere with abstract generalities, I 
boldly asked for a specific commitment from him, explaining that we 
could not employ an architect to design the building until we had this 

Seeing that the time had come for a definite answer, the secretary 
replied that he had thought much about the matter, but that in the 
light of the mission resources in sight, he thought about ten thousand 
dollars would be the limit to which he felt the denomination should 
go in providing the "meeting house" needed by the University 

I confess that I was overwhelmed with amazement and despair. 
The walls of my dream house collapsed utterly, and I was speechless. 
I had expected not less than an initial gift of $50,000 and $50,000 more 
to be paid over a period of five years! 

The interview closed, and I slipped away to catch a train. I am 
sure that the great man, with his irrepressible sense of hope and 
optimism, never knew of the bitter anguish and sorrow of soul with 
which I journeyed back to Austin that August night in 1916. There 
were no stars of hope shining for me as I drove by the newly- 
purchased site for the home of a greater University Baptist Church. 

58 Charles E. Maddry— An Antobiographij 

There was gloom in the University Church circles when I reported the 
outcome of my mission to Dallas. However, it did not last long. The 
little band of stalwarts in the faith of Christ and in the future 
greatness of their dream church soon rebounded to a sober and 
unfaltering faith that the glorious thing to which they had set their 
hands would one day be translated into reality. 

In a few days I left for North Carolina to bring out my family. 
Henceforth we were to be Texans, and so far as I could see, our 
star of destiny hovered over the Lone Star State. 

In the fall of 1916, the members of the University Baptist Church 
began with beautiful unity and contagious enthusiasm to plan for 
the construction of their sanctuary and educational plant. On the 
first Sunday in October, the student body came back, crowding the 
little chapel to capacity. I preached from Philippians 3: 13-14: "The 
Upward Calling of God in Christ." I had not planned to give an 
invitation for life service, but an inner voice whispered: "Give them 
an invitation for life service, and God shall lead." I gave the invitation. 
It was a tense and destiny-making time. Five students answered 
God's call with the surrender of life for service. Two of the young 
men became useful and successful ministers of the gospel, and 
beautiful brown-eyed Agnes Graham, a rising senior in the University, 
offered her life as God might lead for service on the foreign field. The 
congregation was stirred. It was a high hour and was but a prophecy 
of many holy and triumphant hours in the years that lay ahead. 

Just as we were in the critical stage of our church building program, 
Jim Ferguson was elected governor. The University faculty and 
Board of Regents opposed him and his policies. In retaliation, sup- 
ported by his followers in the legislature, he removed the Board of 
Regents, appointed a new group to do his bidding, and dismissed 
the president and many of the faculty. The move hit the University 
Baptist Church a stunning blow. Many of our leaders, deacons, 
Sunday school teachers, and prominent supporters, were dismissed 
abruptly without salary. Among those dismissed were Judge John C. 
Townes, chairman of our board of deacons, as well as several long- 
time professors. All of our plans were upset for the time, and a feeling 
of uncertainty settled down upon the church. 

In a short time, however, there was a ground-swell of indignation 
that swept the state like a Texas tornado. The legislature, in special 
session, impeached the Governor and removed him from office. The 
Lieutenant Governor reappointed the former Board of Regents, who 

University Church, Austin, Texas 59 

promptly restored the president and faculty to their former positions 
in the University. 

All was again serene, and we took up anew our building plan for 
the church. It appeared for the time, at least, that our hindrances were 
over, and the future was rosy with promise. 

The first great problem that tested the unity of the pastor and the 
people was the selection of an architect and the designing of the 
proposed building. One element of the church wanted a simple type 
of architecture with the main interest centered on utility and economy. 
The imperative need of the church was for ample auditorium space 
and adequate classroom space for the expanding Sunday school. 

There was another element in the church consisting mainly of 
the group who were connected directly and indirectly with the 
University. This group, while not denying the need for economy and 
utility, were insistent upon the wisdom of expressing in wood and 
brick and stone the artistic and aesthetic religious appeal of a 
beautiful sanctuary. The lot purchased and paid for was ample. 

The pastor earnestly desired a beautiful, artistic church building. 
At the same time, I was anxious to unite all of our friends behind 
the project— the local church, the State Board, and the friends, with- 
out going beyond the ability of the congregation to finance. To do 
this, it was felt that a practical southern-trained architect, who knew 
the requirements of an organized Sunday school, must be employed. 
The Sunday School Board's specialists were called in, and they 
rendered valuable service in planning a proposed educational build- 
ing adequate for the immediate needs and the requirements for the 
foreseeable future. An architect employed widely by many prominent 
and growing Baptist churches throughout the South was called in. 
He studied the problem and produced a splendid layout for our 
needs as to space and modern educational requirements; but the 
external appearance of the building from the architectural and artis- 
tic standpoint was unacceptable to the committee. It was a splendid 
plan from the standpoint of utility and the traditional idea of what a 
Southern Baptist "meeting house" should look like, but the com- 
mittee rejected the plan unanimously. 

The building committee then began the search for another archi- 
tect. Some of the members had seen the Pan-American Building in 
Washington, designed by Albert Kelsey of Philadelphia. The beauty 
and magnificence of it intrigued them. Correspondence was opened 
with Mr. Kelsey, and he was invited to visit Austin. He accepted the 

60 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

invitation and came. The committee was greatly pleased with his ideas 
and employed him forthwith to make preliminary studies of a sanc- 
tuary and educational layout in keeping with the surroundings and 
conforming to the general type of architecture prevailing in the uni- 

After a delay of some months, he came back for a second visit with 
the committee and submitted a plan that was beautiful and satisfying 
in every particular. It was to be a Spanish mission type structure 
with an imposing bell tower from which chimes could be heard all 
over Austin. 

As to the cost of the church, the architect was vague. However, he 
had completely won over the committee to his viewpoint. He re- 
minded them that the great churches and cathedrals of Europe were 
not built in a day and that the cost for a work of artistic beauty such 
as he had designed was a secondary consideration. The committee 
signed a contract with Mr. Kelsey. 

I was keenly conscious through it all that an enormous sum of 
money was going to be required to finance such an undertaking. I 
knew also that fifty thousand dollars, payable through a period of 
five years would be all the local church, composed of teachers, small 
business men, and university students, could possibly give. The 
State Mission Board had indicated that ten thousand dollars would 
be about the share of the denomination at large. There was left that 
vague and uncertain amount expected from wealthy friends over 
the state. I knew a little of the cost of building in war times, and 
preliminary estimates ran all the way from three to five hundred 
thousand dollars. The committee, caught up in their artistic and 
aesthetic enthusiasm for the dream building of the Philadelphia 
artist, saw only the stars and knew it could be done. I knew that the 
best years of my swiftly passing life would be required to build and 
pay for such an undertaking. 

In the midst of our preliminary preparation for raising all the money 
we could locally, the United States was drawn into the European 
conflict. President Wilson was re-elected with the slogan "He kept 
us out of war," and then the reckless and insatiable ambition of the 
German Kaiser drew America into the costly struggle. Our existence 
as a free nation was in the balance, and we went into the struggle 
with the firm determination to "win the war to end all wars." 

Numbers of our young men both from the University and the local 
community went into the struggle at the beginning, and many of them 

University Church, Austin, Texas 61 

never came back. All of our efforts and resources were invested in 
the all-out effort to win the war. 

Just as we were planning to launch the educational unit of our 
church plant, a drought of unprecedented length and severity pros- 
trated all farm and ranch activities in southwest and west Texas. The 
drought lasted for more than a year, and many thousand of cattle 
died for lack of grass and drinking water. Many ranchmen shipped 
their cattle to Louisiana to save the remnant. It was time of great 
distress, and the economic life of the whole southwest area was 

In an effort to reduce the cost of the building, the committee at 
last faced the necessity of leaving off the proposed bell tower to the 
church. It was argued that this was to be separate and apart from the 
church; the bell tower could be added later when times were more 

Just as I thought we were all set to let the contract for the educa- 
tional wing, tentative bids revealed the fact that we lacked ten 
thousand dollars of having enough money in sight to pay for the 
proposed unit. 

At this time, to complicate matters further, I received a letter 
from my life-long friend, Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, 
offering me an appointment in the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant- 
Commander, provided I could close up affairs in Austin immediately 
and go to France. The offer made a tremendous appeal to me, and I 
wanted very much to accept it. 

A joint meeting of the building committee and the deacons was 
called, and the whole matter was laid before them. The discussion 
lasted until midnight. The pastor asked to be granted leave of absence 
for the duration of the war and that the building enterprise be post- 
poned until after the close of the war. It developed that one member 
of the committee had challenged two friends, large cattlemen near 
Marfa in the Davis Mountains, West Texas, to give ten thousand 
dollars toward the finished structure. She had a feeling that if rightly 
approached they would give the amount for the educational wing. 

Late at night, a motion was adopted instructing the pastor to 
make a visit to the good friends of the church and lay the whole 
matter before them. It was understood that if the effort failed, the 
building enterprise would be postponed for the duration of the war, 
and if it succeeded, the pastor would decline the offer of Mr. Daniels 
and remain with the church. I made the trip and was cordially 

62 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

received by Messrs. Bennett and Willis McCutcheon. The whole 
matter was canvassed with great care, and I was finally assured at 
the close of the second day's visit that the ten thousand dollars 
necessary for the completion of the proposed unit would be given, 
provided I would decline the proposal to go to France as a chaplain 
and remain with the church until the first unit of the structure was 

I returned to Austin, and we let the contract for the educational 
unit and the basement floor of the church. 

We moved into the finished unit on November 10, 1918, and the 
Armistice was signed on the next day. I thus lost my chance to go to 
France, but the church secured the part of the building contemplated. 
I have realized long since that after much prayer and agony of soul 
God's plan was found, and His will was carried out. 

In the meantime, even during the war years, the church was making 
satisfactory and commendable progress in every way. The congre- 
gations were growing, and the Sunday school was graded and stand- 
ardized. The Student Department was organized, and the first Baptist 
Student Union in the South was constituted by O. P. Campbell, 
Secretary of Student Activities in the University Church, and J. P. 
Boone, State Baptist Young People's Secretary. The John C. Townes 
Bible Chair was organized under the tutorship of Mr. Campbell, and 
the University gave credits toward graduation for the work done in 
our church. 

At the meeting of Baptist General Convention of Texas held in 
Waco in November, 1916, I was on the program to speak on evan- 
gelism. It was a high hour and gave me a splendid introduction to 
the Baptist hosts of the Lone-Star State. Following this, I was over- 
whelmed with invitations to hold evangelistic meetings in many 
churches throughout Texas. I held fruitful meetings with the First 
Baptist Churches in Tyler, Henderson, Corpus Christi, Gainesville, 
Texarkana, Baylor University and Mary Hardin-Baylor at Belton. 
I had good meetings also at Florence, Fort Davis, East Austin, South 
Austin, and the University Church. These meetings gave me wide 
contacts with Texas Baptist preachers and leaders. I made many 
friends for the University Church, and much later, in my years of 
critical service with the Foreign Board, Texas Baptists rallied around 
me in a loyal way in every hour of need. 

After the war closed, the University Church made plans for the 
completion of the auditorium. We raised all we could locally and 

University Church, Austin, Texas 63 

then secured a large long-time loan from a midwestern insurance 
company. The contract was let, and the work was begun in the last 
months of 1919. Progress was slow, materials were hard to get, and 
prices were high. The Texas Board made a substantial gift, and the 
Home Board made a loan that was later converted into a gift. The 
church was growing, and large numbers of the Baptist students in 
the University were continuously coming into the church. 

After leaving North Carolina in 1916, I had severed most of my 
contacts with Baptist affairs in the home state. I had gone back for 
the commencement exercises at Wake Forest in June, 1917, upon 
the invitation of President Poteat and the Board of Trustees for the 
bestowal of the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. As time passed, 
the contacts with the Baptists in the home state gradually faded into 
the background, and I was becoming more identified with the Baptists 
of the Lone-Star State. I had been serving as a member of the Execu- 
tive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and was be- 
ginning to feel very much at home in the Southwest. 

Baylor celebrated seventy-five years of glorious achievement in 
June, 1920, and conferred upon me the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Divinity. 

The roof was going on the main church auditorium, and soon the 
building would be finished. I had purchased a home within one 
block of the church and it looked as if we were settled for life. My 
wife and my daughter were thoroughly identified with the people 
and were fast becoming loyal and enthusiastic Texans. 


Call and Commitment to Larger 

In November, 1920, Walter N. Johnson, secretary of the North Caro- 
lina Baptist State Convention, announced his determination to retire 
from that position that he might return to the pastorate. Immediately 
there was intense interest as to who would be chosen as his successor. 
The convention met in Asheville, and when the call was made for 
nominations for secretary, some eight or ten men were nominated. 
On the first ballot, Charles E. Maddry was elected by a decided 
majority. The first news I had was the receipt of telegrams from 
various friends saying that I had been elected and urging me to 

I took the call of the North Carolina brethren as the call of the 
Lord. Amid sorrow and regret, I offered my resignation as pastor of 
the University Baptist Church, and we turned our faces toward our 
native state. 

On January 1, 1921, I began the new work. My predecessor, Dr. 
Johnson, spent New Year's Day with me, introducing me to the 
work and doing all he could to help me get a comprehensive insight 
into all its phases. I soon realized that I had suddenly been thrust 
into the biggest and most demanding task I had ever undertaken. As 
the work grew in importance and the churches grew in numbers, 
the position of general secretary grew in responsibility. 

The 75 Million Campaign had gone over in a great way in the 
churches of North Carolina. The same was true of every state in the 
South. The denomination, led by Dr. L. R. Scarborough, had gone all 
out to raise 75 million dollars for missions, with the pledges to be paid 
in five annual installments. The churches of the South had subscribed 
over ninety million dollars. 

Knowing the problem among Southern Baptists of systematically 


University Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 

The Maddrys in Brazil in 1936 with Harley Smith, 
Dr. and Mrs. W. B. Bagby, and Dr. and Mrs. L. R. Scarborough 

The Maddrys and the J. B. Weatherspoons 
at the grave of Henrietta Hall Shuck in Hong Kong 

The Maddry Family: Mrs. R. W. Severance, (daughter Katharine), 
Bob, Sarah, Dr. Maddry, Kay, R. W. Severance, and Mrs. Maddry 

Call and Commitment 65 

collecting pledges, I began immediately to organize the Baptists of 
North Carolina, association by association, for this purpose. 

Early in March we began a series of associational rallies over the 
state. The heads of all departments went with me, and leading pastors 
were invited to assist in speechmaking. The new secretary thus had 
a good introduction to the pastors and representative men and women 
of the churches. 

Much enthusiasm was manifested, and the meetings were well 
attended. Much lasting good came out of these rallies. At Statesville I 
was stricken with appendicitis and underwent an operation at Long's 
Sanatorium. My associates finished the tour in western North Caro- 
lina. I was out of the work for six weeks. 

From early boyhood I had heard the people discuss the need for 
a new church plant adequate for the local congregation and for 
the Baptist students in the University at Chapel Hill. The little church 
building, erected in 1854, was located several blocks from the school. 
It was wholly inadequate and out-of-date. There was no provision 
for Sunday school or young people's work. In the fall of 1921 I 
assisted the pastor there in a gracious revival. Students and town 
people packed the little meetinghouse. There were a number of 
additions to the church. At the close of the meeting we raised more 
than ten thousand dollars for a new building. One member of the 
faculty at the University gave one thousand dollars, although he 
never attended the church. The secretary pledged substantial support 
from the State Board. 

A serious problem soon threatened to dampen the ardor of many 
of the local congregation. The church had served the older families 
for seventy-five years. They were warmly attached to the old loca- 
tion. I frankly told them that the State Board would not be inter- 
ested in building a new church on the old site. 

We began at once the search for a new site nearer the University. 
After some months, we purchased a splendid lot at the corner of 
West Franklin and Columbia Streets, one block from the University. 
The old church property was sold, the proceeds going toward the 
cost of the new building. Later, when I presented the matter to the 
church, the vote was unanimous for moving to the new site. 

The building of the Chapel Hill Church was but the beginning. 
The State Board took up with enthusiasm the plan to help provide a 
worthy and adequate Baptist church house at every school center. 
Some of the churches, such as Mars Hill, Chowan, and Wingate, had 

66 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

already begun building activities before I came to the secretaryship. 
In some cases their plans were enlarged, and in all cases the Board 
helped these churches pay off their indebtedness. 

Secretary Livingston Johnson had launched the program of evan- 
gelism in a new and effective way. He employed two full-time evan- 
gelists, one for the east and one for the west. Dr. Walter Johnson 
continued this program, and I expanded and enlarged it. 

North Carolina never had a more devoted denominational worker 
than E. L. Middleton. For many years he served as Sunday school 
secretary and led North Carolina Baptists to a high place in Sunday 
school work. He died in mid-life and left behind him a record for 
denominational loyalty and achievement in his chosen field. 

Another worker who has won great renown in several fields of 
denominational activity is Perry Morgan. When I came to the secre- 
taryship he was made state B. Y. P. U. secretary. He led the state to a 
worthy place in young people's work in the South. When E. L. Middle- 
ton was called home, Perry Morgan was elected Sunday school 
secretary. He carried forward the Sunday school work in a marvelous 
way. He left us to become manager of the Ridgecrest Assembly. 
Much of the advancement at Ridgecrest, especially in buildings and 
equipment, is due to the foresight and business ability of Perry 

Meredith College for women had long since outgrown the cramped 
campus in northeast Raleigh. It would cost more than a million dollars 
to secure a new location with ample room and to construct buildings 
sufficient to care for five hundred students. The denomination was 
unable to furnish the funds necessary to build and pay cash for the 
proposed plant. Finally the board of trustees, led by Gilbert T. 
Stephenson, business leader and banker of Raleigh, recommended to 
the convention that they proceed to secure a new site and issue a 
million dollars worth of bonds, underwritten by the state convention, 
for the purpose of building the new Meredith. The convention adopted 
the suggestion, and the bonds were sold. They were to be paid off 
in fifteen years out of funds given by the churches for Christian 
education. For two or three years the payments were met without 
much trouble. But as the depression of 1928-32 began to slow down 
the income from the churches, the Board found itself in financial 
straits and found it even more difficult to meet the payments on 
the bonds. 

The convention had been organized at Greenville in 1830. I rec- 

Call and Commitment 67 

ommended to the session of 1927 that we plan for a worthy celebration 
of the centennial by raising a fund of a million dollars with which 
to pay off the Meredith bonds. The recommendation was adopted. 
The idea was received by the people in the churches with great 

Two years before the centennial we began the systematic organiza- 
tion of the associations for the campaign to pay off the debt on 
Meredith College. The plan was to organize the churches in every 
association for subscriptions from each church on a fixed date. All 
the forces of the convention were thrown into the movement— pastors, 
staff and departmental workers, college professors and students were 
enlisted in a united and determined effort to come to the centennial 
year completely out of debt. The secretary and the associate secretary, 
M. A. Huggins, led in the movement and traveled hundreds of miles 
over the state getting the organization set up. We made hundreds 
of speeches from Manteo to Murphy, and on the appointed day the 
pledges were taken in all the churches. More than eleven hundred 
thousand dollars were subscribed, the pledges to be paid in two 
years. We came back to Raleigh after six months of intense effort, 
feeling that the great task was accomplished. 

In 1929 the financial panic was upon us. The churches were un- 
able to pay their pledges and the convention was compelled to default 
on the payment of the bonds. Gloom and despair settled upon our 
Baptist people, and it was necessary to curtail the work of the Board 
in all phases. The high hopes with which we entered upon the work 
on January 1, 1921, were blighted, and we came to the centennial 
of the convention with a sense of frustration and defeat. The called 
meeting of the convention met at Greenville and bravely faced a 
gloomy future as we looked back on the triumphs of one hundred 

I tried to put on a brave front and face the future with some 
degree of enthusiasm. Many of our churches had sold bonds to finance 
needed equipment for church and Sunday school enlargement, and 
many of them defaulted on the mortgage and bond payments. Pastors' 
salaries were reduced, and there was widespread suffering among all 
our people. 

The one dominating motive that had influenced my decision to 
accept the call of North Carolina Baptists to come home and lead the 
missionary forces as general secretary of the convention at the close 
of 1920, was the missionary motive. I believed North Carolina Baptists 

68 Charles E. Maddry-Au Autobiography 

were ready for a decided and enthusiastic advance in missions- 
state, southwide and worldwide. The conviction came to me slowly 
that my work was finished as general secretary, that the executive 
work of the convention should be in the hands of a younger man of 
business ability, and that I should devote the remaining years of my 
ministry to the work of the pastorate or to some phase of missionary 
promotion. In this frame of mind, I went to the annual meeting of the 
Southern Baptist Convention in St. Petersburg in May, 1932. 

It was a time of financial distress and uncertainty for every conven- 
tion, board, and educational institution among Southern Baptists. 
Dr. Fred F. Brown, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Knoxville, 
was elected president of the Convention. A briUiant and captivating 
preacher, his soul was aflame with missionary zeal and passion. His 
church was the largest weekly contributor to the Cooperative Program 
within the bounds of the Convention. 

After much prayer and prolonged discussion, the Convention voted 
to organize and set up under the direction of the Executive Committee 
a new department, to be known as the "Missionary Promotion 
Committee." The duty of this new department was to press with 
renewed zeal and vigor a more generous and systematic support 
of the Cooperative Program, with especial emphasis on the tithe and 
on weekly offerings in the churches for the support of missions, 
benevolence, and Christian education. 

One person from each state was appointed to organize and set up 
the new department, and I was appointed to represent North Carolina. 
The first duty of the committee was to elect an executive secretary 
for the new work of the Convention. 

The committee met in Birmingham, Alabama, early in June. Two 
days and one night were spent in drawing up a statement to be sent 
forth to the denomination concerning the plans, purposes, and pro- 
gram for the guidance of this new phase of missionary promotion. 
When the details of this matter were finished to the satisfaction of 
the committee, the important question of the selection of a man to 
lead in this new and responsible phase of the Convention's work 
was taken up. After much prayer for divine guidance and much dis- 
cussion of men and qualifications, a vote was taken, and Charles E. 
Maddry was the unanimous choice. 

I came back to Raleigh, knowing full well that I had indeed come 
face to face with a decision that might well mean a complete and 
far-reaching change in all the course of my life. I faced the challenge 

Call and Commitment 69 

of a new and untried work that would take me into all the states 
of the South. Some months before this, I had confided to my wife the 
fact of the growing conviction that my work was about finished in 
North Carolina. To my surprise, she quietly said that she had been 
praying about the matter for some time and felt that the time had 
come for a change in my lifework. In 1925, we had completed a new 
home in Raleigh and were well on the way toward paying for it. My 
wife's parents were living in Raleigh and were both beyond eighty 
years of age. We dreaded the thought of breaking all the ties that 
bound us to the Old North State and beginning all over again in a 
new community. However, we were to learn through the months and 
years that the work of the kingdom of God was not bound by state 
or national lines, but was as worldwide as man's sin and need for 
a Saviour. 

It was a hard decision to make. I had enjoyed the confidence and 
loyalty of the brotherhood in North Carolina in a most remarkable 
and satisfying way for eleven and a half years. There was no division 
in the ranks, and so far as I could see, the happy relationship of loyalty 
and fellowship would have been continued. 

After days of heart-searching prayer for divine guidance, I decided 
that God was leading in this new venture, and I accepted the work. 
A call for a special meeting of the general board was sent out for 
the latter part of June, 1932. I submitted my resignation effective 
July 15 and made preparation to move to Nashville, Tennessee. 

Mr. M. A. Huggins was elected my successor, and for twenty-two 
years he has led North Carolina Baptists in a wise and constructive 
program. He is greatly beloved by all our people. It took him ten years 
to pay off the debt on Meredith College and redeem the honor and 
credit of the convention. He has served longer in the difficult and 
exacting position of general secretary than any other man in the more 
than one hundred and twenty years of the life of the convention. 

Executive Secretary of Promotion— Southern Baptist Convention 

On August, 1, 1932, I began work in Nashville as executive sec- 
retary of the Promotion Committee of the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion. I had an office with the Executive Committee in the Sunday 
School Board building. Walter M. Gilmore of North Carolina, who 
had worked with me as director of publicity for the North Carolina 
Baptist State Convention, was made publicity director for Southern 
Baptists. He was a tireless worker, and our close association in the 

70 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

denominational work bound us together in loving and helpful fellow- 
ship through the years. 

The task to which I had been called was a new departure for 
Southern Baptists. It was an organized and aggressive effort to 
promote the Cooperative Program through stewardship, tithing, and 
the weekly offerings. The leaders were the state secretaries, pastors, 
and heads of all boards and agencies. The immediate objective of 
the Promotion Committee was to prepare the churches for a simulta- 
neous every-member canvass in all the states during the month of 
November, 1932. The first task was the preparation of literature 
for this supreme effort in behalf of a united support for all our 
missionary, educational, and benevolent work through the Coopera- 
tive Program. 

I left Secretary Gilmore to carry on the office end of the work in 
Nashville while I went afield, speaking before churches, associations, 
laymen's conventions and W. M. U. meetings in an effort to stir up 
interest and enthusiasm in a new and concerted movement for a more 
generous and united support of our work. I divided my time with 
the several state secretaries, who made the engagements and directed 
my efforts in the several states. 

I filled engagements in Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, 
Oklahoma, Maryland, and Virginia. The work was hard, the schedules 
were heavy, and long distances had to be traveled to meet engage- 
ments. While the progress toward a united program was encouraging, 
and the every-member canvass was a great advance over the old 
haphazard method of supporting the work of our Southwide boards, 
institutions, and agencies, it was far from being complete in all the 
churches. A good beginning had been made, but there must be more 
teaching and preaching of New Testament principles of stewardship 
before even a majority of the members in the thousands of Southern 
Baptist churches would come to a worthy and adequate support of 
all the missionary, benevolent, and educational causes embraced in 
the Cooperative Program. The way was opened for the larger enlist- 
ment in the co-operative work of Southern Baptists and the enlarged 
efficiency of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Con- 

Accepting a World Commission 

The foreign mission board was in desperate financial straits. Not 
only had banks in Richmond refused further credit, but they were 
demanding substantial payments on their loans. Gifts from the 
churches were declining in an appalling way, and we faced disaster 
at home and abroad. The Board had made worldwide commitments 
for the support of American and native missionaries. These commit- 
ments could no longer be met, and the Board was facing the most 
embarrassing situation which had ever confronted it in the ninety- 
odd years since its organization in Augusta in 1830. 

At the annual meeting in October, 1932, the missionaries on fur- 
lough, thirty-two in all, were instructed not to return to their fields, 
and the salaries, children's allowances, and house rent were discon- 
tinued. Some of these faithful servants of Christ were aged, sick, 
and suffering. Appropriations for native work, salaries of pastors, 
support of schools, hospitals, and all other phases of the work were 
drastically cut, and all work possible was discontinued at home and 
abroad. Many volunteers for world missions, already approved, were 
notified they could not be sent to their chosen fields. 

The four banks in Richmond which held the Board's notes for one 
million dollars advised the Board that the total appropriation for 
the year 1933 must be held down to $600,000 and that out of this 
must be paid the interest on the loans. It was a critical hour for 
Southern Baptists. 

The Foreign Mission Board had been looking for an Executive 
Secretary ever since Dr. Love's death. Dr. T. B. Ray, who had come 
to the Board in Dr. Willingham's day as Secretary of Education, had 
in turn served as Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. In 1928, 
upon the death of Dr. Love, he had been made acting Executive 
Secretary, and in 1930, Executive Secretary. A committee which was 
appointed to seek for a permanent secretary had not been successful 


72 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

in finding the man they wanted who would undertake the heavy and 
responsible job of trying to save the work of the Board in the 
desperate situation confronting the Southern Baptist foreign mission 
work at that time. 

Searching for a Leader 

The first man approached was Dr. George W. Truett of Dallas, 
Texas. Dr. Truett declined, and the committee offered the position 
in turn to Dr. Fred F. Brown, Dr. J. B. Weatherspoon, Dr. Solon B. 
Cousins, Dr. Louie D. Newton, Dr. C. D. Daniel and possibly others. 
All declined. The Board met in annual session in October, 1932. After 
the committee had reported its inability to agree upon a man for 
Executive Secretary, the Board was then completely reorganized 
and L. Howard Jenkins, a prominent business man of Richmond, was 
elected president. A new committee on securing an Executive Secre- 
tary was appointed. They organized and evidently decided that the 
time had come to take a plunge, for the situation was desperate. 

I had gone from Nashville to speak before the Knox County Baptist 
Association, meeting some fifteen miles from Knoxville. A messenger 
came out to the association with a request for me to call the Baptist 
Foreign Mission Board in Richmond. I was on the program to speak 
in the mid-afternoon. 

After adjournment, I went back to Knoxville and put in a call 
for Richmond, but the connection was delayed, and I was just getting 
in bed at the hotel when the call came through. Drs. C. C. Coleman 
and John F. Vines informed me tiiat the Board had just elected me 
as Executive Secretary and had adjourned after appointing them to 
notify me of the action. I was taken by surprise, because no member 
of the committee had ever approached me on the matter, but I in- 
formed the committee that the matter would be taken under advise- 
ment, and that they would receive an answer in a few days. 

Certainly the leaders had taken a surprising and desperate gamble 
in calling me forth as the new Secretary. If I possessed any qualifica- 
tion for the position of leadership in the cause of foreign missions 
of Southern Baptists, it was my enthusiasm and my passion for world 

Before going to sleep that night in Knoxville, I called my wife and 
informed her of the surprising action of the Foreign Mission Board. 
Her reply was that she thought I had already a task in Nashville big 
enough for any one man. 

Accepting a World Commission 73 

On Monday, January 2, 1933, I entered upon my duties as the 
Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern 
Baptist Convention. The first secretary, Dr. James B. Taylor, a native 
of Britain, served twenty-seven years, from 1845 to 1872. Dr. H. A. 
Tupper of South Carolina served twenty-one years and four months, 
from 1872 to 1893. Dr. Robert J. Willingham of Georgia also served 
twenty-one years and four months, from 1893 to 1914. Dr. James F. 
Love of North Carolina served fourteen years, from 1914 to 1928. 
Dr. T. B. Ray of Kentucky served four years, from 1928 to 1932. I 
served twelve years, from 1933 to 1945. Thus these six men served 
the Foreign Mission Board as Secretaries for one hundred years. 

A few weeks after I began my work in Richmond, a committee 
representing the four Richmond banks that held the notes of the 
Board for more than a million dollars requested Mr. L. Howard 
Jenkins, the newly-elected President of the Board, for a conference 
with chosen representatives from the banks. We went to see the 
bankers as requested. At the meeting of the Board on October 12, 1932, 
the budget for 1933 had been fixed at $600,000. Out of this was to 
come first the interest on our notes, amounting to $67,000. This left 
only $533,000 for all the work of the Board in 1933. At the October 
meeting it was found impossible to continue much of the work in 
foreign lands. When we met with the committee of bankers, we were 
informed that the Board must pay $150,000 of the $533,000 budget 
on the principal of the debt. My committee was thrown into con- 
sternation by this announcement. An earnest plea was made that 
the Board be allowed to go on with the budget as fixed in October. 
After quite a bit of discussion on both sides, Mr. Burnett, president 
of the First and Merchants Bank, who was presiding over the meeting, 
said that his committee would like to hear from the new Secretary 
as to his plans for paying the debts of the Board. 

I then stated to the bankers that if they carried out their proposed 
plans to take out of our budget of $600,000, $67,000 for interest 
together with $150,000 additional to be applied on the principal 
of the debt, it would completely paralyze the Board as a going concern 
and bring disaster to all the foreign mission work of the Southern 
Baptist Convention. I reminded him that the Foreign Mission Board 
had been doing business with these banks for more than ninety years 
and that they had never lost a cent in principal or interest from our 
Board. I told them that Southern Baptists were going to continue do- 
ing foreign mission work and that if they persisted in their plans, they 

74 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

would put the Foreign Mission Board out of business completely. I 
also informed them that Southern Baptists would send their mission 
funds direct to the missionaries on the various fields over the world. 
I told them that our people would pay them every cent they owed 
them, providing they would allow us to carry on as a going concern. 
I further reminded them that their notes would be paid, every cent 
with interest, provided they allowed us to function as agreed upon 
at the October meeting of the Board. I stated that if they insisted 
on their demands as announced, their notes were not worth the paper 
they were written on and that they were planning to "kill the goose 
that laid the golden egg." Mr. Burnett said, with a smile, that that 
sounded like common sense to him. He asked for further discussion 
from his committee and they unanimously agreed to allow us to go 
on as planned at the October meeting of the Board. 

The committee requested us to pay every cent possible if we 
should receive more than anticipated for the 1933 budget. We 
heartily agreed to this, and the meeting was adjourned with a feeling 
of confidence and a better understanding all around. 

I will here anticipate events to say that in two years we had paid 
$250,000 on our notes. The crisis was past, and the credit of the 
Board was firmly established with the Richmond bankers. 

The paralyzing debt began to bear heavily upon those who really 
loved foreign missions. It started first in Richmond. Dr. Wade H. 
Bryant, pastor of the Barton Heights Baptist Church, organized a 
club in his church with each member pledging to pay twenty-five 
cents a week for the debt on the Foreign Mission Board. Miss Blanche 
White, W. M. U. secretary of Virginia, heartily endorsed the move- 
ment and the W. M. U. organizations of Virginia took it up with 
enthusiasm. It spread rapidly among the churches of Virginia, and 
while it seemed small in the beginning, it was soon apparent that a 
similar method would eventually bring relief to the Foreign Mission 
Board if the other states of the South would take it up with the 
same enthusiasm. The Foreign Mission Board was able to report 
to the next Convention that several thousand dollars had been already 
paid on the debt. 

At the meeting of the Convention in Washington, D. C, in May, 
1933, the matter was brought before the people by Dr. Frank Tripp. 
A committee was appointed to work out a plan for the payment of 
the debts of all the boards, institutions, and agencies of the Conven- 
tion. The committee reported a plan asking the churches to secure 

Accepting a World Commission 75 

from every member as much as a dollar a month with which to pay 
all the debts of all the agencies of the Convention. Many church 
members took out several club memberships and thus the movement 
was an assured success. We owe an everlasting debt of gratitude to 
Brethren Bryant and Tripp for bringing forward a plan whereby the 
debts of the Convention were eventually all paid. 

The Foreign Board in the flush days of 1920, out of receipts from 
the 75 Million Campaign, had purchased a wonderful piece of prop- 
erty, splendidly located in the heart of downtown Rome. In the 
summer of 1934, the Board sent the Executive Secretary to Rome to 
sell this property. The original cost was $180,000. After many dif- 
ficulties, we sold the property to an international insurance company 
for $312,000. When the agent's fee, sale taxes, and other incidental 
expenses had been paid, I brought home and applied on the debts 
of the four banks in Richmond $292,000. The bankers were greatly 
pleased, and our credit was gilt-edged from that day. Within six 
months after we sold the property, Mussolini confiscated it for one- 
third of its value. 

In the fall of 1933, in the midst of the worst financial storm America 
had ever experienced, at the annual meeting I presented to the Board 
a plan to provide for a modest pension for missionaries upon retire- 
ment at seventy years of age or upon becoming disabled by ill health 
before reaching the age of seventy. 

The plan provided for the payment of five dollars by the Board 
and five dollars per month by the missionary. This was sixty dollars 
a year out of the meager salary of $800 per year paid the missionary. 
The Relief and Annuity Board was to handle the matter. The Foreign 
Board was the first Board or agency of the Convention to work out 
any plan of retirement for its employees. Dr. Thomas J. Watts was 
anxious to have our Board take the lead in the matter. In a few 
months all the other Boards and Agencies followed suit and the 
popularity of the Relief and Annuity Board was in the ascendency 
immediately. The missionaries henceforth upon retirement had five 
hundred dollars each per year. For a couple, that meant one thousand 
dollars per year. Many of them bought modest homes at our educa- 
tional institutions and upon retirement settled in an environment 
where they were in touch with old friends and associates. The Board 
never did anything that was more popular and gave more satisfaction 
to Baptists in general. The matter took hold of me deeply because on 
the same day I was elected Executive Secretary thirty-two mis- 

76 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

sionaries who were at home on furlough were dismissed. If friends, 
relatives, and churches had not come to their relief, they would have 
faced dire sufferings. I went over the South literally begging money 
for these stranded missionaries. I determined that such a tragedy in 
the lives of worthy and devoted missionaries and their children should 
never happen again. 

For many years the Home and Foreign Boards had published a 
monthly missionary magazine called Home and Foreign Fields. The 
Sunday School Board paid for the publication. They lost money on 
the magazine every year. In 1937, the Sunday School Board reported 
to the Southern Baptist Convention that they had lost fifteen thousand 
dollars in the fifteen years in the publication of Home and Foreign 
Fields. They asked to be relieved of the burden. 

This left the two mission boards without an organ of communica- 
tion with the churches. I felt that something must be done to relieve 
this situation. I made a trip to Atlanta for a conference with Dr. 
Lawrence, Secretary of the Home Board. I proposed that we publish 
jointly a magazine edited by the Secretaries and paid for by the two 
boards. Dr. Lawrence replied that he preferred to publish a large 
home mission tract quarterly, and he did not believe we could 
succeed any better than the Sunday School Board had done with 
a joint magazine. 

The Foreign Board had published a magazine just before the 
Civil War called The Commission. I decided to revive this magazine 
and called to my assistance Miss Inabelle Coleman, assistant to Dr. 
J. Clyde Turner in the work of the First Baptist Church in Greensboro. 
Miss Coleman had decided gifts as a writer and was a real artist in 
the make-up of the magazine. We proposed to publish four numbers 
the first year. The response was so generous on the part of the 
denomination that we published six numbers the first year. The price 
was fifty cents a year, and the subscriptions rolled in in great numbers. 
Some of my brethren said we could never publish a worthy mission 
journal for the ridiculous price of fifty cents a year. The magazine 
grew by leaps and justified my contention that with mass circulation 
we would make good. I edited the magazine for five years; then 
Dr. E. C. Routh was called as editor. He was a gifted and experienced 
editor and soon doubled the subscription list of the Commission. He 
was followed by Dr. Joseph Nordenhaug, who edited the magazine 
for some two years and then resigned to become president of our 
European Theological Seminary at Zurich, Switzerland. 

Accepting a World Commission 77 

He was followed by Dr. Frank K. Means. He is a gifted writer 
and editor. With the coming of World War II, the price of the 
magazine had to be increased to one dollar per year. The subscription 
list of The Commission had grown to more than one hundred thou- 
sand. The growth and popularity of the magazine has entirely 
justified the belief that an informative magazine at a popular price 
would appeal to the denomination. I sincerely believe that The 
Commission has played a major role in the rehabilitation of the work 
of the Foreign Mission Board at home and abroad. The Commission 
will compare favorably in literary value and influence with any de- 
nominational missionary journal published in America. Miss Marjorie 
Moore (now Mrs. O. K. Armstrong), Miss lone Gray, and others 
have made it a very attractive magazine. 

I realized early in my service with the Board that the work was 
worldwide in its ramifications and that one man alone could never 
meet the responsibilities and direct the operations of five hundred 
missionaries widely separated in sixteen different countries on three 
continents. In addition to the supervision of the work abroad, there 
was the conduct of the work in the homeland. When I went to 
Richmond in 1933, the staff consisted of the Secretary, one assistant 
secretary, the treasurer, one girl assistant, two stenographers, one 
woman who handled the distribution of study books, tracts and litera- 
ture, and an office boy. This meant that there were eight persons in all 
to handle the Foreign Mission enterprise of six million Baptists 
gathered in seven thousand churches. It was an impossible situation, 
and before I had been in the work three months I determined to do 
something about it. 

On my visit to Japan and China in 1935, I was accompanied by 
my wife and Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Weatherspoon. The Weatherspoons 
paid their own expenses, and I borrowed the money and paid Mrs. 
Maddry's expenses as I did on each mission tour. I had already made 
up my mind to recommend to the Board on my return the election 
of a regional secretary for the Orient. The question was upon the 
selection of the right man. Dr. Weatherspoon and I agreed that he 
should be an experienced man from China. I was seriously considering 
a brother who possessed many of the qualifications I felt were needed 
in this man. Dr. Weatherspoon advised me to wait until we reached 
Canton and see Missionary M. T. Rankin before making a decision. 
He had been a missionary in South China for twenty years, was widely 
known in mission circles throughout China, and was greatly beloved 

78 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

by missionaries and national Christians alike. For some years he had 
been president of the Graves Theological Seminary in Canton. He 
had married Valleria Greene, a daughter of Dr. George Greene, a 
North Carolinian and a missionary beloved in China. 

We landed in Hong Kong one day about noon and met Dr. Rankin. 
Missionary John Lake had chartered a small steamer to carry our 
party to Tai Kam Island, ninety miles out in the China Sea, for a visit 
to his leper colony. He was to organize a church composed of forty 
lepers together with himself and wife. It was a great experience for 
all of us. About thirty Chinese leaders of the South China Baptist 
Convention together with quite a number of missionaries accom- 
panied us. 

On the way back from Tai Kam the next afternoon, Dr. Weather- 
spoon and I drew Dr. Rankin aside and sat down together in a little 
lifeboat. There, as our ship plowed its way through the quiet waters 
of the China Sea, we laid before Dr. Rankin our plans for the re- 
organization of our foreign mission work in the Orient and offered 
him the position. He was greatly surprised and could not give his 
answer at once. Some three weeks later, after he had prayed the mat- 
ter through, he notified us that he would accept the call of the Board 
as the call of God. We had cabled our recommendation to the 
Board in Richmond and in a few days received a cable in reply saying 
that Dr. Rankin had been elected regional secretary for the Orient. 
I felt then, and I know now, that this was the greatest thing I ever 
did for foreign missions. 

As I visited the other mission fields in Europe, Africa, the Near 
East, and Latin America, I recommended the election of regional 
secretaries for these areas. My recommendations were accepted by 
the Board, and George W. Sadler who had served many years as a 
missionary in Nigeria was elected for Europe, Africa, and the Near 
East, and W. C. Taylor was elected for Latin America. Dr. Taylor was 
succeeded by Everett Gill, Jr. Winston Crawley succeeded Dr. Gill. 


Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 

Early in june, 1934, 1 started on my first visit to the European mission 
fields of our Foreign Mission Board. The purpose of this visit was 
manifold. First, the work in all the European countries, especially 
in Italy, needed to be reorganized and to have its relation toward 
the parent body in America reaffirmed. In the early days, the work, 
pastoral as well as church buildings and equipment, was supported 
by the Board in Richmond. There had been a growing feeling on the 
part of the supporting churches in the South and the Board in 
Richmond that the time had fully come for the national churches 
in the several lands in Europe to assume a larger share in the support 
of their own pastors and in the organization of new work in the 
regions still unevangelized in their respective fields. 

After the Board sent the first missionary couple to Italy in 1872, 
the work was difficult and the progress disappointingly slow. The 
churches seemed content to continue receiving support from the 
Richmond Board and were doing little toward self-support. They were 
making little effort to evangelize the villages and towns in the out- 
lying areas. 

What was true of the churches in Italy was equally true in Spain, 
Jugoslavia, Rumania, and Hungary, for which Southern Baptists 
assumed responsibility after World War I. The new Executive Secre- 
tary was sent over by the Board with instructions to do everything 
possible to reorganize the work and to induce the churches to launch 
a worthy program of self-support and make an honest effort toward 
evangelism and expansion. 

Our work in Europe was largely with the middle and lower classes. 
The economic status of the church members was very low, and the 
problem of making a living was vital. The work had always been 
generously supported by the friends in America, and the average 
church member was content to continue enjoying the bounty of 


80 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

their good brethren. It was easy for the pastors, who received a 
monthly check from Richmond, to make little or no effort to teach 
stewardship and self-support in the churches. If a new chapel or 
school was needed, generous friends in America would provide the 
money necessary. 

Mission churches in other lands had this same attitude toward the 
question of self-support. I had found that true in the work of state 
missions in the home land. Churches that had been supported by 
the Board for a generation were sometimes reluctant to undertake 

Accompanied by Mrs. Maddry, I sailed on a mono-class boat from 
Norfolk, Virginia. During the ten days of crossing, I had time for 
quiet rest and relaxation; I had little time for rest in the next three 

After landing at Le Havre, France, we took the boat train up to 
Paris. We spent several days in Paris and made a brief visit to the 
battlefields of northern France. I was saddened and deeply impressed 
with the quiet and beauty of the Memorial Cemetery and battlefield 
of Belleau Wood. Here under neat marble crosses sleep more than 
2,200 American men. All over Europe I saw these well-kept American 
cemeteries where lie buried hundreds of American boys who died 
in the vain belief that they were fighting to make the world safe for 

From Paris we traveled to Madrid, Spain, where we were met by 
our missionary superintendent for Spain, Nils Bengtson. 

English and Swedish Baptists were in Spain before World War I, 
but both of these groups retired after the war, and we assumed full 
responsibility in 1922 in accordance with the agreement in the London 
Baptist Conference in 1920. All Swedish Baptist missionaries in Spain 
had died or resigned except Reverend Nils Bengtson and his wife, 
faithful and worthy missionaries of this Board for many years. 

The work has been slow and very difficult in Spain, which has 
been dominated by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. The 
Reformation took hold of the upper and educated classes; they were 
the only ones who could read and thus learn the doctrines of Luther 
and Calvin. The Roman Catholic priesthood held the masses in ig- 
norance and bondage to the Catholic Church. Since the Jesuits 
organized the Spanish Inquisition to root out the very seeds of the 
Reformation, Spain had suffered stagnation and death under the heels 
of Rome for three hundred years. Visitors are shown a public square 

Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 81 

in Madrid where 3300 martyrs to the cause of Christ and the Reforma- 
tion paid the supreme price for their faith by being burned at the 
stake. Since the very seeds of Protestantism were rooted out, it can 
readily be understood why the soil of Spain has not been very fertile 
for Baptists and the Baptist message. 

But in these years we have made a splendid and inspiring begin- 
ning. 1 Let it be remembered that the Baptist movement in Spain, as 
well as in all Europe, is a peasant movement, and while our people 
in all these lands are very poor, there is a vigor and virility about the 
work that promises much for the future. The pastors are, for the most 
part, untrained, but they are a devoted and courageous set of men. 
In a land of ignorance, superstition, arrested development, and stag- 
nation, such as we cannot even imagine in America, they are bearing 
faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus as Baptists understand it. 

We spent ten strenuous days with our churches in Spain and went 
on to Italy. In Genoa, we were met by our superintendent of the 
Italian Mission, Dr. D. G. Whittinghill. Ascending the imposing 
marble stairs leading to the magnificent station, I saw an elderly 
gentleman standing at the top of the stairway fanning himself with 
a straw hat. I drew near and said, "I am looking for Dr. D. G. 
Whittinghill, an American." He replied, "I am looking for Dr. and 
Mrs. Charles E. Maddry, of Richmond." Thus began an intimate and 
delightful fellowship with Dr. and Mrs. Whittinghill. 

Some eighty years ago, Dr. George B. Taylor of Virginia, our first 
Southern Baptist missionary sent out from the homeland, laid the 
foundations for our work in Italy. In 1880 Dr. John H. Eager was 
appointed and labored for fifteen years. Fifty years ago the Board 
sent out Dr. D. G. Whittinghill to open a seminary for the training 
of a native ministry. After marrying Susy, the daughter of Dr. Taylor, 
he succeeded Dr. Taylor as superintendent and treasurer of our 
Italian Mission. Dr. Whittinghill did a far-reaching and monumental 
work in the training of a devoted and aggressive group of Baptist 
pastors and leaders. Almost eveiy pastor we met in Italy had studied 
under him at some time. Mrs. Whittinghill was the founder of the 
Italian Woman's Missionary Union. Rev. J. P. Stuart and family and 
Rev. and Mrs. C. J. F. Anderson rendered short but fruitful ministry 
in Italy. 

In 1904 Dr. Everett Gill, Sr., went to Europe and through the 

1 In 1953, 27 churches, 22 pastors, and 1804 members were reported. 

82 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

years that followed did a notable work not only in Italy but the 
Balkans. He was our Southern Baptist representative in Europe 
1921-1939. The Board never had a finer, or more gifted and capable 
representative anywhere than Everett Gill. He was always the patient, 
sympathetic gentleman; and Southern Baptists and the Foreign Mis- 
sion Board owe him a debt they can never pay, for the discreet and 
Christlike way in which he administered our work in Europe and 
the Near East in those critical and trying years following World 
War I. Mrs. Gill was equally efficient and helpful in leadership among 
the women. She and Dr. Gill both have made a lasting contribution 
to our Baptist work in Europe by writing and preparing mission study 
books and literature for the missionary societies, churches, training 
schools, and theological seminaries. Loved and honored by all who 
know them, the Gills are now retired and live in Wake Forest. 

Faithful Italian preachers, grounded in the doctrines of the New 
Testament, have valiantly preached the Word and spread the good 
news through the years. Many of these devoted servants of Christ 
have suffered for the sake of the gospel; many have been relentlessly 
and cruelly persecuted by Rome and her blind and fanatical priest- 
hood, and even today they themselves, their wives, and their children, 
suffer in untold ways for the sake of the gospel. 

Everywhere I went in Italy, I found the people hungry for the 
Bread of life. The people came in crowds to jam the churches and 
preaching halls to hear sermons preached stumblingly through an 
interpreter. And everywhere there were confessions for Christ— in 
some places faster than they could be counted. It is significant that 
most of those confessing Christ were adults. In their conservatism 
and reaction against Rome's method of receiving children, perhaps 
our pastors have gone too far the other way in their reluctance to 
insist upon young people coming to Christ. The churches were failing 
in the teaching and training of their young people. 

For years Baptist pastors and churches in Italy were not taught 
the vital importance of becoming self-supporting and independent, 
but they are not to blame for this situation. The idea of an independ- 
ent, self-governing, self-supporting church, made up solely of baptized 
believers, maintaining and supporting their own work and worship, 
gained headway slowly. 

After visiting many of our churches, from the valleys of the Alps 
on the French border in the north, to Naples in the south, I called 
a meeting of all our station pastors in the city of Rome, on July 22, 

Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 83 

23, and 24. They were all there, and it was the first time in eight 
years they had been together for a general meeting of any kind. Some 
of the pastors had not seen each other for over ten years. I had drawn 
up beforehand and had translated into Italian a suggested plan for 
the organization of a National Italian Baptist Union and a mission 
board. This plan, which we submitted on the first day of the meeting, 
provoked a three-day debate. 

The following is a brief summary of the plan of organization 

Believing that the time has fully come when the Italian Baptist Mission should 
assume more responsibility for the financial support and direction of our Baptist 
work in Italy, and believing that Baptist churches should at the earliest possible 
time become autonomous, self-governing, self-supporting, and self-perpetuating, 
we, the representatives of the Foreign Mission Board of Richmond, Virginia 
( U.S.A. ), offer the following suggestions, looking forward toward the reorganiza- 
tion of our Italian Baptist Mission: 

An Italian Baptist Union shall be organized. The object and purpose of the Union 
shall be, 

( 1 ) To elicit, combine, and organize the strength, energy, and zeal of Italian 
Baptists, for the purpose of carrying out the great Commission of Jesus to give 
the good news of salvation to all the world, beginning in Italy; to teach and train 
disciples in all the things commanded by Jesus and to do all other things possible 
to hasten the Reign of our Blessed Redeemer on earth, as we may be led by the 
Holy Spirit. 

( 2 ) Every organized church shall be entitled to send TWO messengers to the 
annual meeting of the National Union and ONE additional messenger for every 
unit of twenty-five members after the first twenty-five. 

The item that caused so much debate was as follows : 

( 6 ) The Board of Directors shall take out articles of incorporation under the 
laws of Italy and shall take and hold title to all property hereafter acquired by 
the National Union, such as chapels, preaching halls, pastors' houses, and all 
other property that may be used for purposes of worship in the conduct of the 
general work of the Union. The Board of Directors shall be the legal and respon- 
sible entity for the conduct and direction of all Baptist work in Italy; it being 
the purpose of the Foreign Mission Board to turn over to Italian Baptists the 
church buildings now used strictly for worship and as homes for pastors; it being 
agreed that no property given by the Foreign Mission Board shall be sold or 
mortgaged without consent and approval of the Foreign Mission Board. 

This was finally adopted when the Foreign Secretaiy announced 
that the American Board would withdraw from Italy unless the plan 
submitted was adopted. The Italian pastors voted with great reluc- 
tance to accept it. 

When we took over the work of English Baptists in Italy in 1922, 
we bought their chapels and pastors' homes. All this property cost 

84 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

us a "pretty sum," and we owed for it in the banks of Richmond. 
In addition, we bought some thirty-five acres on a hill overlooking 
the city of Rome, and in the heart of the city we bought a whole city 
block. However, the government had declared this property to be 
within the zone of "monuments of antiquity," and we could not change 
the property, improve it, sell it, or build upon it, without the consent 
of the government. After eighteen months, some twenty acres of our 
suburban property were expropriated by the government for a 
gymnasium for their Balilla, or young people's movement. We did 
everything possible to secure payment for this land; the United States 
Embassy did all they could to help us. We did finally get the govern- 
ment to fix a price for the land taken— one third of its assured value, 
and they promised to pay us lira 951,000 ($82,000), setting the date 
for payment as July 28. Later they promised to pay us lira 500,000 
on September 28, and the remainder the next July. Later they 
expropriated the remainder of the suburban land and finally, after 
long delay, the government paid for it at their own valuation. 

At this time negotiations were begun to sell the downtown prop- 
erty, the results of which enabled us to apply $292,000 on the debt 
of the Foreign Mission Board. 

Accompanied by Dr. Whittinghill, we called upon the brilliant and 
influential Italian attorney of our Board, Mr. Del Fratte. This gentle- 
man was highly considered in international legal circles and enjoyed 
a large and lucrative practice. He was the legal representative for the 
United States Government in the delicate and tedious negotiations 
leading up to the purchase of the magnificent Embassy building in 
Rome, located a short distance from our property on Piazza Barberini. 

Mr. Del Fratte was a freethinker. He had married a charming 
American Presbyterian woman who was a particular friend of the 
Whittinghills, the leaders of our Italian Mission. Through this social 
connection, our Board was able, for twenty-five years, to command 
the services of this leading attorney for a nominal annual retainer. 

Mr. Del Fratte received us with all the grace and charm of a 
polished and cultured Italian gentleman. After a few minutes of 
polite conversation, we proceeded to the business in hand. 

"Mr. Del Fratte," said Dr. Whittinghill, "Dr. Maddry is the Exec- 
utive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board in Richmond. He is 
here under instructions from his Board to negotiate a sale of the 
Board's Piazza Barberini property. He wants to employ you to handle 
the whole matter for the owners in America." 

Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 85 

"Yes," I said, "The Board has at last fully decided to sell this 
property just as soon as a purchaser can be found. We have become 
alarmed after our recent experience with the high-handed and unjust 
methods of the Italian government in the Monte Mario property 
transaction. I am here under instructions to arrange for the sale." 

"Have you been able to secure the approval of the leaders of the 
Italian Convention for this sale?" asked Mr. Del Fratte. "I am in- 
formed that they have taken the position that this property was 
purchased as an intended gift for the work of the Italian National 
Baptist Convention. They feel that the proceeds of this sale should 
be used in Italy for the enlargement of the Italian work. Unless they 
are satisfied and approve the transaction, your efforts to sell the 
property are doomed to failure." 

"We have been in session with the leaders of the Baptist work in 
Italy for four days. Last night a compromise was unanimously agreed 
upon, and as you can see by this resolution, this phase of the matter 
has been settled in a way satisfactory to all concerned." 

Mr. Del Fratte carefully examined the paper presented to him. 
"It is fortunate, indeed, that you have first arrived at a satisfactory 
understanding with your co-religionists here in Italy. Their approval 
and co-operation are necessary." 

"Do you think you can sell the property? How much can you get 
for it?" inquired the debt-conscious mission secretary. 

"The property," replied Mr. Del Fratte, "is easily worth half a 
million dollars. It we were given a free hand in an open market, it 
would bring that sum. But I am reliably informed that Mussolini has 
already decided to expropriate this property for his new building 
for the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Government. 
Orders have gone forth for the preparation of architectural plans for 
the building. He is only waiting for the furor created in Washington 
over the Monte Mario steal to die down before proceeding with 
this new seizure. 

"My advice to you is to make a sale as soon as possible." The 
attorney continued, "Italy is already bankrupt. Mussolini is seeking 
for new sources of taxation. If he does not confiscate your property 
straight out, he will levy a heavy capital tax that will consume it 
all anyway. You are both heretics and foreigners in Italy. My advice, 
therefore, is to sell at once and sell only for dollars, American exchange 
in New York. If you sell for lires, you will never be able to get a penny 
of the money out of Italy." 

86 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

"Well, Mr. Attorney, the matter is in your hands. Proceed as soon 
as possible to find a purchaser who has sufficient financial backing 
in New York." 

"I have a good prospect already, I think. An international insurance 
company with plenty of financial backing has decided to establish 
an European headquarters, and they are giving Rome first considera- 
tion. I have a 'hunch' as you Americans say, that I have a good chance 
to make a sale to them." 

After the final details of our business matters were settled, Mr. Del 
Fratte invited the Americans to dinner the following evening. He had 
a magnificent estate, a beautiful villa located on four acres of land 
on the crest of Monte Mario, overlooking the Vatican and the "City 
of the Seven Hills." 

After dinner, our host grew communicative and talked of Italy 
and her coming doom under the domination of the "Sawdust Caesar." 

"Tell us, Mr. Del Fratte," said the Mission Secretary, "With your 
well-known and outspoken views on democracy and the freedom of 
die individual, how have you escaped the wrath of the Fascist 
Dictator all these years?" 

"Well," replied Mr. Del Fratte, "Thereby hangs a tale. Many years 
ago, my father who was a prominent attorney, a freethinker, and a 
passionate advocate of the freedoms of the mind and conscience of 
the individual in all matters of religious faith and civic conduct, 
clashed with the authorities in Rome. He was thrown into prison and 
refused a hearing on the trumped-up charges filed against him. In 
spite of all his efforts to have the issue brought to trial, he languished 
in prison for several weeks. He was finally released, the charges 
against him having been dismissed. He came out of prison embittered 
against the ruling powers." 

"So I judge you hold the same views of your father concerning 
civic and religious liberty." 

"Yes, I am a firm advocate of civil and religious freedom for every 
soul in the world. We have little of either in Italy. I hate Mussolini 
and all his works. He is fast leading Italy to a doom worse than that 
visited upon her by the Goths and Vandals in the fifth century. I 
see nothing but ruin awaiting my country and my people. The end 
is not far away. The crash is on the way, and it is going to be appalling 
when it comes." 

Six months later, in mid-Pacific on a ship bound for the Orient, 
I received from Rome a long radiogram in code, which when trans- 

Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 87 

lated brought the thrilling news that the Piazza Barberini property 
had been sold for $312,500 payable in American dollars in New York! 

The Mission Board's credit was saved. The faith and morale of 
the denomination was lifted to new heights. For once the "Sawdust 
Caesar" had been outwitted. 

The property in Italy had been a hindrance and not a help to us. 
It took much of the time and energy of one missionary to look after 
the property and collect the rents. In addition it had created a false 
impression upon our Italian brethren because it led them to believe 
that we were rolling in wealth and would continue to support them 
forever. Therefore, this property was harmful, not beneficial, to our 
Italian work. 

After our work was finished in Italy, we left by train for Oberam- 
mergau, Germany, to see the Passion Play. We were assigned to the 
home of the man who played the part of Christ. To be in this delight- 
ful home was a distinct privilege. We met interesting people and 
enjoyed our stay there. 

The play itself is indescribable. For eight hours, along with four 
thousand other guests from all over the world, I was enraptured 
and enthralled with this incomparable drama which is put on every 
ten years by these simple peasants of the mountain village of Oberam- 

We spent ten days in Berlin attending the meeting of the Baptist 
World Alliance. During our stay in Germany, President Hindenburg 
died, and Hitler came to power. It was an exciting and crucial time 
for the German people. 

I had been invited to deliver an address before the World Alliance, 
the subject assigned being "The Implication and Outreach of the 
Great Commission." The addresses were printed in German, and all 
were carefully censored by the German committee. All references 
to democracy were carefully eliminated. 

In 1921, as a result of the decisions of the London conference, the 
Foreign Mission Board had begun its work in Hungary in co-operation 
with the Hungarian Baptist Union. The close of the first World War 
had left the people of Hungary in a tragic and deplorable plight. 
Never in modern times has a people been more terribly punished for 
a losing war than Hungary was at the Paris Peace Conference. By 
this treaty, Hungary lost seventy-one per cent of her territory and 
sixty-three per cent of her population. It was hard for a great modern 
nation like Hungary to live under the conditions imposed by the 

88 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

treaty. A great French geographer has declared that the territory of 
Hungary before the war was the "most perfect geographical unit in 
the world." Hungary had possessed eveiything a modern nation 
needs to make her great— mountains, waterpower, coal, iron and other 
minerals, forests, building stone, navigable rivers, and a vast and 
fertile plain, which has been called the "granary of Europe." At the 
close of World War I, Hungary had 23,000 Baptists, organized in an 
efficient and progressive union. The division of Hungary left the 
Union with 7000 members. 

Our Baptist work was prosperous, considering the conditions exist- 
ing in Hungary. We owned the seminary buildings, the gift of Miss 
Varina Brown of South Carolina. This property, formerly a magnif- 
icent home, was located on a very prominent boulevard across the 
Danube from the great Parliament buildings. It extended through the 
block facing on two streets. In this property were several stores and 
apartments, which were rented. 2 

The territory of Jugoslavia lies along the Adriatic Sea, from Trieste 
on the north to Albania and Greece on the south, and inland to the 
Danube River. The name means "South Slavs," and the people belong 
to the great Slavic family. Intensely religious and musical, they are 
an aggressive, vigorous, hardy, and virile race, constituting some of 
the finest raw material in all Europe from which to make Baptists. 
They live in the very region adjoining Macedonia where Paul 
preached and established churches nineteen hundred years ago. 

The story of the beginnings of our Baptist work in Jugoslavia 
sounds like a second record of the Acts of the Apostles being written 
today. The work had its beginnings in 1922. Though the population 
is made up of many language and dialect groups, the people are all 
cousins and of one Slavic origin. 

The supreme need was for someone to teach and train a native 
ministry. God had called and raised up a worthy and promising group 
of young men for the ministry, but they were helpless without some- 
one to teach and guide them. 

Rumania is made up of many different nationalities and language 
groups. Our Baptist people there were divided into four language 
groups; and there were four Baptist Conventions, dividing the people 
according to differences of language— Rumanian, Hungarian, Russian, 

2 Since World War II and the inclusion of Hungary and contiguous nations in 
the Soviet orbit, we have little information concerning Baptists in that area. We 
do know that God is still at work behind the Iron Curtain. 

Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 89 

and German. Because the Rumanian Convention had been torn 
asunder by strife and discord, there were two conventions of the 
Rumanian language group. 

The fact that our Baptist movement all over Europe was a peasant 
movement will explain many seeming contradictions one found in our 
work in most countries. For unnumbered centuries, the peasant had 
been oppressed and ground down by both the state and the church, 
either Roman or Greek. For generations he had been kicked around 
as the underdog. Then a New Testament was put in his hands, and he 
was taught to read it. A Baptist missionary came along and preached 
to him that all men are equal in Christ, that in a Baptist church every- 
body is somebody in Christ. The new wine of spiritual freedom and 
equality went to his head, but there were others in the church with 
the same ideas. The result was a contest for leadership, and the 
biggest man won out and tried to lord it over his brethren, somewhat 
like the priest once did over him and his fathers. So it was only 
natural and human that these contests arose to trouble a growing 
spiritual democracy that had not yet become intelligent and capable 
of governing itself. This explains much of our trouble in many mis- 
sion fields. 

In 1934, Southern Baptists had work at only two places in Syria— 
at Beirut, the growing and expanding French seaport, and at Kefr 
Mishky, a Syrian village in the interior valley between the Lebanon 
and Anti-Lebanon Mountains. 

S. M. jureidini, a native of Lebanon, Syria, attended the 1893 
World's Fair in Chicago. He was converted, joined the Third Baptist 
Church, St. Louis, and was baptized by Dr. W. R. L. Smith. In 1895 
he opened work at Beirut where he labored for years. He and other 
workers were supported precariously by groups of American Baptists 
until after World War I, when Southern Baptists entered Syria and 
Palestine in the early '20's. 

The work at Nazareth was begun years ago by Brother and Mrs. 
Mosa, and later his nephew, L. V. Hanna and his wife assisted them. 
For a while the work seemed to prosper, and the littie church grew 
in a very encouraging way. I suppose Nazareth was selected for 
reasons of sentiment. However, Nazareth is a simple, poverty-stricken 
Arabic village with no industries. There is very little employment to 
be had in Nazareth, and living is difficult and precarious. 

Miss Elsie Clor, a converted Jewess, was a worker in Jerusalem. We 
had some good property there, partially the gift of Northern Baptist 

90 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

friends and of the W. M. U. of the South. Miss Clor conducted a Good 
Will Center, largely for Jewish children, though the work was open 
also to Arabs. She had a flourishing Sabbath school on Saturday for 
Jewish children and a Sunday school on Sunday for all nationalities. 
She had clubs for boys and girls and Bible classes for women. 


Seven Months in the Orient 

On January 4, 1935, Mrs. Maddry and I sailed from San Francisco 
on the Dollar Line, S. S. President Johnson, for a visit of seven months 
with missions and churches in the Orient. Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Weather- 
spoon, of the Southern Baptist Seminary at Louisville, by invitation 
of the Foreign Mission Board, accompanied us. The Board was for- 
tunate and wise in the choice of Dr. Weatherspoon as the man to 
accompany the Secretary on this difficult and delicate mission to the 
Orient. He had taught many of the younger missionaries. His help 
and advice were invaluable. We went out to the Orient under instruc- 
tions of the Board to reorganize the work in Japan and China and 
bring it in line with the revised policies of the Board in Richmond. 

The weather was mild and the sea was smooth during the first five 
days of the voyage. We spend a happy day in the semi-tropical city 
of Honolulu. Here we saw the strange and polyglot mixture of the 
races from all lands and were greatly impressed with the success 
of our government in its first colonial venture with Oriental people. 

The first day out from Honolulu we passed the international date 
line. We went to bed on Tuesday night and awoke on Thursday 
morning. Four days off Kobe, Japan, we ran into heavy seas, and 
sometimes the waves were mountain high. The S. S. President Johnson 
was an old ship and creaked and groaned in every joint. There was 
little rest or sleep, and food had no appeal for me. Two days out of 
Japan, the storm reached its worst. A lady whom we had met on the 
boat soon after leaving San Francisco, in attempting to cross the deck, 
was caught by a mighty receding wave and was saved by a seaman 
from being swept over the stern of the boat. 


Reaching Kobe on January 24, we were met by our senior mission- 
ary in Japan, Dr. W. Harvey Clarke. We had our first intimate touch 


92 Chaeles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

with the people and life of the Japanese during the day we spent in 
Kobe. It was all strange and fascinating. That night we went by train 
to Tokyo and had our first experience of travel on the Japanese 
sleeping car. The trains in Japan were what we would call "narrow 
gauge." The berths were too narrow and short for an average sized 
American. Turning over in one of the berths was a difficult feat for 
a large-sized person. 

Upon arrival in Tokyo we were greeted by missionaries Edwin 
Dozier and wife, Hermon Ray, and the native pastors and were enter- 
tained in the lovely home of Dr. W. Harvey Clarke. The next day we 
began a fifteen day tour of our Japanese Baptist churches, schools, 
and institutions. We found difficult problems awaiting solution. Mr. 
and Mrs. Dozier, Mr. Ray, and others had prepared a booklet for 
us giving a brief history of the Baptist work in each mission through- 
out Japan. The work in each church, school, and institution was 
described and the needs stated. A list of all missionaries who had 
served in Japan was given, beginning with the first Southern Baptist 
missionaries sent to Japan in 1889, Reverend and Mrs. J. W. McCollum 
and Reverend and Mrs. J. A. Brunson. A total of fifty-five had been 
sent out in forty-five years. 

The history of modern Japan dates from 1854, when Commodore 
Matthew Galbraith Perry sailed into Uraga Bay, the port of modern 
Japan. Japan, until that time, had been a medieval, feudal kingdom, 
living in proud isolation from all the other nations of the world. In 
1853, Secretary William A. Graham of the United States Navy, acting 
under the instructions of President Filmore, sent Commodore Perry 
to Japan on a preliminary visit. He carried a formal supplication from 
the president for the opening up of commercial relations between the 
two countries. 

The Japanese government replied that the matter was of such far- 
reaching importance that no immediate reply could be made at that 
time, but that an answer would be given the following year. With the 
other ships of his squadron, Perry sailed away to his appointed 
rendezvous near Hong Kong, China. In February, 1854, he returned 
to Japan. His greatly enlarged squadron of "fearful fire ships" ( as the 
Japanese called them ) cast anchor over against Tokyo. 

After many weeks of tiresome and evasive delay, the Japanese 
agreed to receive from Commodore Perry a letter and a long list of 
presents from President Filmore. The gifts included a miniature rail- 
way and locomotive that would run on its own steam, a telegraph 

Seven Months in the Orient 93 

set, a sewing machine, the annals of Congress, a description of bird 
life in America, several barrels of Kentucky whiskey, many cases of 
champagne, all kinds of guns and assorted ammunition for them, a 
list of the post offices in the United States, a Farmer's Guide, and 
a geological report of Minnesota! 

On Sunday, July 10, 1854, negotiations concerning the treaty were 
suspended for the day and "divine service" was held on board the 
flagship of Commodore Perry. Psalm 100 was read, prayers were 
offered, and a group sang the great old gospel hymn which begins with 
the lines: 

Before Jehovah's awful throne 

Ye nations bow with sacred joy; 
Know that the Lord is God alone, 

He can create, He can destroy. 

Isaac Watts 

The startled Japanese gathered in throngs on the shore. They were 
deeply impressed by this, the first Protestant Christian service ever 
held in Japan. 

The news that Japan was at long last open to the western world 
created a sensation in America. Our Baptist grandfathers began to 
plan at once to send the gospel to the peoples of this benighted land. 
Missionary Matthew T. Yates of China, repeatedly urged the Foreign 
Mission Board to send missionaries. Dr. Yates felt so strongly that 
Southern Baptists should enter Japan that he offered to give up his 
mission in China and begin work in the Island Kingdom. So pro- 
foundly did he feel that the hour of destiny had struck for Japan 
that he offered to pay personally the salary of a missionary to preach 
the gospel in that emerging nation. The Board felt, however, that 
that the work of Dr. Yates in Shanghai must not be given up. 

The decision was made that the Board would open work in Japan 
at the earliest possible time, and a diligent search was begun for a 
suitable couple to begin this difficult and important task. 

There was subdued excitement in the mission rooms of the Baptist 
Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia, early in the new year 
of 1860. After months of seemingly fruitless search, three missionary 
candidates had come forward offering their services. 

There was general satisfaction among the Baptists of the South 
and especially of Virginia, that Reverend Crawford H. Toy, a recent 
graduate of the University of Virginia and a student of the Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary of Greenville, South Carolina, had 

94 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

offered to go to Japan. He was a choice young man from one of the 
first families of Virginia. He had taken a high rank in his studies, both 
at the university and at the theological seminary. He had taught for 
two years in the x\lbemarle Female Seminary in Charlottesville. It 
was generallv understood in Baptist circles in Virginia that he was 
soon to marry a brilliant young woman who had recently graduated 
from the Albemarle Institute. It seemed the matter was all settled 
and was made doubly sure, when the Portsmouth Association of 
Virginia came forward to guarantee the salary of the yomig mis- 

At the same time, Reverend John Quincy Adams Rohrer, of Mary- 
land, and his bride, Sarah Robinson Rohrer, of Pennsylvania, offered 
themselves for service in Japan. They were choice young people, 
highly educated and wholly consecrated to the missionary cause. 
Mrs. Rohrer was especially gifted in music. 

The three promising candidates came to Richmond for examination 
and appointment. It was a proud and happy day among the friends 
of foreign missions throughout the South when the word wont out 
that the three young people, the first to offer, had been appointed. A 
great throng crowded the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of 
Richmond for the service where the three were solemnly set apart 
for the work in that far eastern land. 

The Civil War suddenly burst upon the South in the spring of 
1S61. Mr. Toy was unable to secure passage to Japan. He became 
one of General Lee's chaplains and served with distinction throughout 
the war. Mr. and Mrs. Rohrer sailed on the Edwin Forest in August, 
1S60. On the same ship, Reverend and Mrs. A. L. Bond, newly ap- 
pointed missionaries to Canton, in South China, sailed for their field 
of labor. 

The Edwin Forest sailed into silence and was never heard of again. 
Thus ended in disappointment and tragedy the first efforts of our 
grandfathers to send Christ's gospel to newly-opened Japan. 

It was not until the year 1SS9, twenty-nine years later, that work 
by Southern Baptist missionaries was begun in Japan— "too little and 
too late." 

If that ship that sailed into silence had reached its destination, 
would the tragic aftermath for Japan have been averted? God alone 

When we arrived in Tokyo the weather was cold, with snow and 
ice on the ground. We began at once our visits to the churches. In the 

Seven Months in the Orient 95 

church and conference rooms the floors were covered with mats, and 
the buildings were unheated. We followed the universal Japanese 
custom of leaving our shoes at the door of the building and preaching 
in our stocking feet. 

Missionary Hermon Ray had made an engagement for us to visit 
the noted preacher and Japanese leader, Toyohiko Kagawa. We were 
graciously received in his home, and he gave us two hours out of his 
busy life, telling us of his conversion, his labors for the cause of 
Christ, and the bitter persecution by former friends and governmental 
officials. It was indeed a rare treat to know and to have fellowship 
with one who after all the years of shameful persecution and imprison- 
ment is at last universally recognized as one of the great religious 
leaders of his generation. It took the bitter defeat of World War II 
to convince the Japanese that he was the unselfish and devoted friend 
of all the Japanese people. 

We spent a delightful day and night visiting Missionary J. Franklin 
Ray and wife in Hiroshima. It was a city of nearly three hundred 
thousand inhabitants, with beautiful parks, lakes, bridges, and attrac- 
tive homes. We had an adequate church building, a faithful pastor, 
and a devoted congregation. In 1945 the American Air Force dropped 
the first atomic bomb ever made upon this city. Unknown thousands 
of people were killed in a flash. The horror and tragedy of modern war! 

The Foreign Mission Board maintains a splendid, though limited, 
system of Christian education for our Baptist people in Japan. 

Seinan Gakuin is our school for boys and is located in Fukuoka. 
It was founded by Missionary C. T. Willingham and is today one of 
the outstanding Christian schools for boys and young men in all Japan. 
In recent years the school has grown greatly in academic standards, 
enrolment, and physical equipment. In 1952 the total enrolment was 
3483. This included the junior high, the senior high, the junior college, 
and the four year senior college. The woman's training school was 
operated in connection with the junior college and the seminary in 
connection with the senior college. 

Seinan Jo Gakuin, the school for girls, is located at Kokura and has 
a splendid property on a high hill overlooking the beautiful and fast- 
growing city of Kokura. The W. M. U. of Japan had its offices at 

The Good Will Center at Tobata was founded by Missionaiy Naomi 
Schell of North Carolina and has been highly influential in winning 
all classes of Japanese people. I consider it one of the most fruitful 

96 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

missionary agencies that I have seen on our Baptist mission fields. 

In 1935 there were only fifteen Southern Baptist missionaries for all 
phases of the work in Japan. Today we have more than one hundred 

Now we may look forward to a glorious day which is already 
dawning when the Japanese masses will turn to Christ in ever- 
increasing numbers. One great good, at least, that has come out of the 
defeat of the Japanese nation in the late war, is the declaration by 
the Japanese emperor himself that he is not divine and never was. 
Surely this opens the way to win the Japanese people to the cause of 
Christ and to bind this nation of seventy million alert and gifted 
people to our side in an all-out effort to win the billion souls in the 
Orient to the gospel of Christ. 

America has done a thing in Japan that is unprecedented in history. 
She won a smashing victoiy over a valiant foe and then, with no 
thought of economic gain for herself, set them free— free from the 
tyranny and fear of Russia and free from their own greedy and 
selfish war lords. The lesson has not been lost on the Japanese people, 
gifted in initiative and scientific skill as few other people in the world. 


Until this time the work in China had been organized into separate 
missions— the South China, the Central, the Interior, and the North 
China missions. Each was independent of the other, and there was 
no nation-wide organization. Even within the missions there was 
much individual action. If the missionary desired to begin a new work, 
he proceeded on his own responsibility and appealed directly to the 
Board for support. If a missionary felt led by the Lord to change from 
one mission to another, he went ahead and made the change without 
much consideration for the needs of the work as a whole. The missions 
were loosely tied to the Board except in the matter of support. 

In each mission in China, the work was usually built up around 
one dominant, outstanding personality. The work had grown in a 
marvelous way. Schools, hospitals, and theological seminaries had 
sprung up and were doing good work, but there was need for a closer 
co-administration of the work as a whole. 

While we were on a tour of our Baptist mission work in China in 
1935, the deacons of the North Gate (First) Baptist Church in 
Shanghai placed in my hands the original minutes of the church. 
Here is a verbatim copy from this precious old record book of the 

i ! 

| Charles E. Maddry and 
R. T. Vann 

Charles E. Maddry and 
William Wallace 

The Maddrys at a reception 

honoring his seventy-eighth 


Charles E. Maddry, M. Theron 
Rankin, and J. W. Decker, sec- 
retary, American Baptist For- 
eign Mission Society 

Seven Months in the Orient 97 

first Baptist church organized in Shanghai, in the rich Yangtze 
Valley of Central China, where at least one hundred million people 
live today. The minutes are in the clear, bold handwriting of Matthew 
T. Yates, the first clerk of the church: 

In the Providence of God the members composing the Shanghai Baptist Mission 
assembled at the home of Reverend J. L. Shuck on the evening of November 6, 
1847, for the purpose of constituting themselves into a church. Mr. Shuck was 
called to the chair and opened the meeting with prayer. 

The object of the meeting was then stated whereupon the following names 
were recorded as members of the church: 

Reverend J. L. Shuck 
Henrietta Hall Shuck 
Reverend Matthew Tyson Yates 
Eliza Emmeline M. Yates 
Reverend Thomas William Tobey 
Isabell Hall Tobey 
Reverend Yong Seen Sang 
Mrs. Seen Sang 

The above names having been presented, the church proceeded to the election 
of its officers, which resulted in the choice of Reverend Mr. Shuck, Moderator 
and pastor; Reverend Mr. Yates, Secretary; Reverend Mr. Tobey and Yong Seen 
Sang, Deacons. 

Our first view of China left some indelible impressions upon my 
memory. The first was the crowds, the countless thousands crowding 
roadways, streets, and shops. One never gets away from the crowds. 
One wonders where they live, how they live, and what hope there is 
of ever winning these throngs to Christ's way of life. After seeing 
the multitudes of China, one can have a better understanding of the 
experiences of Jesus : Seeing the multitudes he was moved with com- 
passion toward them, because they were like sheep having no shep- 
herd. He always did something about it. But, however much one's 
heart may be moved by the sight of the crowds of the Orient, the 
baffling question remains to haunt one's hours, "What can be done 
about it?" The crowds! Multitudes that no man can number! 

The second impression still lingers with me: the sight of the throngs 
of ragged, hungry, hopeless beggars. They were everywhere with 
their piteous pleas for money with which to buy a little rice. At first, 
overwhelmed with their cry, I began to give out the small supply 
of coins I had, but it was soon exhausted. Then a missionary rescued 
me from the pressing throngs and reminded me that I could not feed 
even a small part of the hungry crowd that pressed upon us with 
their appeals. Always, everywhere we heard the multitude of beggars 
pleading for food! 

98 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

Another picture that I cannot forget was that of the toiling, sweating 
thousands carrying heavy burdens and doing the work of beasts. One 
often saw a wagon or truck heavily loaded with stone, structural steel, 
or other building material, being drawn at a snail's pace upgrade by 
a struggling, sweating group of little men and women. Some would 
be pulling at the tongue of a heavy wagon with grass ropes over their 
shoulders, while others would be pushing and straining at the wheels. 
Often there would be a mother with a baby strapped on her back 
pulling or pushing the heavy load. What was the reward? After the 
long day of such toil was over, there might be enough money to buy 
a little food for the family. 

Another impression was the sight of a poorly-clad, underpaid, and 
undernourished Chinese man, pulling a wealthy Chinese gentleman 
or an American business man in his ricksha, trotting three miles 
for ten cents in American money. The men who follow this business are 
short-lived. They die early of heart disease or pneumonia, contracted 
while waiting so thinly clad in the cold for another "fare." I shall 
never forget my first ride in a ricksha. I started to the hospital to see 
one of our missionaries who was sick. The ricksha man I selected 
gave out before I was half-way. He fell in the street with a heart 
attack. I can see today the look of misery and helpless appeal in his 
eyes as I pressed into his trembling hand more than the amount of 
his fare for the full distance of the trip. Frankly, I never could feel 
comfortable riding behind a fellow human being, pulling us at a 
trot like a horse. 

In Shanghai were centered nearly all the executive and financial 
agencies of our four China missions, Central, South, Interior, and 
North. Here, in a five-story office building owned by the Foreign 
Mission Board, were the headquarters offices for all our mission work 
in China. Here, also, was located our China Baptist Publication 
Society and printing outfit, which supplied all the literature for the 
churches, Sunday schools, missionary societies, colleges, and theolog- 
ical seminaries of all China. A large book store was in this building, 

One of the greatest evangelistic agencies Baptists had in China was 
here in Shanghai. The University of Shanghai, owned, staffed, and 
controlled jointly by American and Southern Baptists, was the first 
educational institution of higher learning in all China to open its 
doors to men and women alike, a step that was revolutionary in the 
history of higher education in China. The University, together with 

Seven Months in the Orient 99 

its affiliated School of Theology and its downtown School of Com- 
merce and Business Administration, gave to Baptists a commanding 
position in educational circles in China not surpassed by any other 
in all China. These combined institutions trained the pastors, the 
school and college teachers, and a vast number of outstanding leaders 
in business and industry throughout the country. 

In Shanghai were located also several noted and popular primary 
and preparatory schools for boys and girls. Outstanding among these 
was the school for girls, founded seventy-five years ago by Mrs. 
Matthew T. Yates, and conducted under the auspices of the famous 
old North Gate Church. After Mrs. Yates' death, the school was 
carried on by Miss Willie Kelly, assisted in later years by Miss Pearle 
Johnson of North Carolina. 

The Eliza Yates School for Girls and the Ming Jang School for Boys 
served the young people of Shanghai and attracted students from 
afar. Here Dr. R. T. Bryan gave the last years of his long and fruitful 
missionary career in China. 

In 1935 there were many fast-growing and influential churches in 
Shanghai and in the vast Yangtze River area round about. It seemed 
to us that the ninety years of seed-sowing in that strategic center were 
beginning to bear bountiful fruit and that the churches were ready 
to reap a rich harvest of souls for the kingdom of God. The missionaries 
conducted us to the top of a famous and unique peak that thrusts its 
head more than a hundred feet above the vast alluvial plain near 
Quinsan, some fifty miles up the Yangtze River from Shanghai. Here 
on this peak Dr. Yates often retired for prayer and meditation. 

A few weeks after I reached China, I became aware of a growing 
sense of nationalism and of a wide-spread longing among the Chinese 
leaders and churches for an all-China Baptist unity to be expressed 
in the organization of a national Chinese Baptist convention. After 
consultations with Baptist leaders from both the Northern and South- 
ern Conventions, together with leaders in all phases of native Baptist 
life, we came to the conclusion that the time had come to put into 
effect the organization of an all-China Baptist convention, embracing 
every phase of Baptist work. 

Dr. Weatherspoon and I left Shanghai for a visit of some ten days 
among the churches in Shantung Province— a visit which was highly 
valuable in helping us understand and appreciate the wonderful 
growth and development of our Baptist churches and institutions 
throughout this great Chinese province. We received a royal welcome 

100 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

wherever we went and were highly pleased to see the rapid growth 
of our work in North China. 

One experience we had in Tsinan, the capital of Shantung Province, 
was very inspiring. Missionary Frank Connely had sent out a call 
to the churches for a meeting of then representatives with the visitors 
from the headquarters of the Richmond office. Pastors and leaders 
in the churches came in large numbers. Some came as far as forty 
miles to this conference; they brought their food and bedding on 
their backs and slept in heathen temples by the way. There were 
several leaders of women's work among the delegations, some of 
whom had walked weary miles over frozen roads on their small, 
bound, doll-like feet that they might add their plea to that of the 
men for reinforcements. From nine until one o'clock we heard these 
delegations, and the one plea of all was the same: "Send us mission- 
aries and Chinese evangelists to preach the gospel, for the fields are 
white unto the harvest." We heard over and over in this plea of every 
delegation, "Send us missionaries with hot hearts." 

After this hasty trip, we were more fully convinced than ever that 
the time had come to give to the growing sense of nationalism on 
the part of the China Baptists the influence and encouragement of the 
Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. We re- 
turned to Shanghai and after further conferences with missionaries 
and native leaders sent out a call to all our Baptist missionaries and 
native leaders of China for a conference in Shanghai early in April. 
While the Foreign Mission Board paid the traveling expenses of our 
missionaries, the churches, national boards and schools paid the ex- 
penses of the Chinese representatives. 

They came in large numbers— missionaries, pastors, and leaders- 
representing all Baptist work in China, both American and Southern. 
Heretofore, the missionaries had scarcely known their fellow mis- 
sionaries except those belonging to their own mission. The native 
pastors and leaders were likewise meeting for the first time. It was 
truly a conference of far-reaching import for our mission work in 
China. Instead of a limited and circumscribed view of the work as 
the responsibility of only one provincial mission, a vision of the work 
as the united responsibility of all the Baptist forces in China was to 
grow out of this conference. 

Out of this meeting in Shanghai, the Secretary and the missionaries 
received a new impression of the worth and ability of our Chinese co- 
workers in an all-out effort to win China to Christ. Before this, we had 

Seven Months in the Orient 101 

a feeling that the task of winning the Chinese to Christ was largely the 
duty and responsibility of the Board in Richmond and of the mis- 
sionaries in China. With a new appreciation of our Chinese churches 
and leaders, there came to all of us a new sense of the vital need for 
co-operation. Henceforth, the main burden of the task was to rest 
upon the Chinese churches and leaders, and we were to be partners 
and helpers in the undertaking. It was no longer a foreign mission 
enterprise carried on by Americans, but a Chinese enterprise in which 
we were to co-operate with them and reinforce them in their home 
mission enterprise. 

The Communists have shut us out of China for a season, but God 
is still at work behind the Bamboo Curtain, and multitudes of Chinese 
Baptists remain faithful. 

We visited the churches and missionary friends in the ancient city 
of Soochow where strong churches and efficient schools were located. 
Yates Academy for boys and Weiling Academy for girls were not only 
schools of high academic standing, but they were, above all, evan- 
gelistic. Dr. and Mrs. C. G. McDaniel, Miss Sophie Lanneau, and 
many other consecrated missionaries wrought nobly in teaching young 
Chinese the way of life. 

We spent four weeks of difficult travel and of fine fellowship with 
the churches and workers in these two great missions in Interior and 
North China. It was a rare and inspiring experience that was to guide 
us during the dark and difficult days that were to come to all of our 
mission work in China, for, henceforth, we were to be the Big Brother, 
co-operating and reinforcing them where they were weak. 

When we were in Chefoo, North China, Missionary J. Walton 
Moore took us out one day to a near-by Chinese village to visit the 
monument erected by that heathen village to the memoiy of the be- 
loved Southern Baptist missionary, J. L. Holmes. When we came to 
the edge of the village, we saw in a near-by wheat field an imposing 
marble slab. On one side in Chinese characters was an elaborate in- 
scription, with an English translation of the same on the other side. 
It told, in eloquent detail, the story of the heroic and supreme 
sacrifice of the white missionary— one who had come from beyond the 
western seas, bringing a new and strange religion. It told how he had 
made every effort to save the adjacent village from the cruel wrath of 
the Taiping rebels. 

Preceding the All-China Conference in Shanghai we spent six 
weeks in Canton and the South China area. The first missionaries 

102 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

sent to China by American Baptists were located in Canton— J. L. 
Shuck and Henrietta Hall Shuck, T. J. Roberts, and Samuel C. Clopton 
and wife. Henrietta Hall Shuck, the first woman missionary to enter 
China, was a gifted woman but lived only a few years after reaching 
China. She is buried in Hong Kong. 

Samuel C. Clopton, the first missionary appointed by the newly- 
created Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 
September 1, 1845, lived only a short time. He died July 7, 1847, and 
is buried near Canton. 

In Canton was located the Graves Theological Seminary, named 
for the gallant missionary, Dr. R. H. Graves, who gave some forty 
years of brilliant and devoted service to our cause in Canton. Dr. 
M. T. Rankin was the efficient and worthy president of this growing 
seminary at the time of our visit. 

The Baptist hospital was under the management of Dr. C. A. Hayes, 
an official of the South China Baptist Convention. The National 
Convention also sponsored an orphanage which was entirely sup- 
ported by the Chinese churches. Mrs. Hayes, also a skilled and accom- 
plished physician, operated a highly successful clinic for girls and 
women in the city. Since increasing numbers of girls and women came 
to this clinic to be treated, it had developed into a great evangelistic 

The hospital had won its way into the hearts of the people not 
only of Canton, but also of all the regions round about. Dr. Hayes, 
a brilliant physician, had wide renown as a surgeon in all kinds of 
diseases of the eyes. Government officials and war lords from all over 
a vast area came to him for treatment. Withal, he was a friend of the 
poor and needy and never turned one away from his hospital if he 
was sick or destitute. Both he and his wife were great soul-winners, 
and no patient who came to the hospital was dismissed without an 
earnest effort being made to win him to Christ. 

There were many churches and missions and schools in Canton 
and the suburban areas. The First Church, which had some two 
thousand members led by a gifted and highly educated Chinese 
pastor, ministered to great crowds. It had a large choir— one of the 
best we found in all China. 

Mrs. Janie Sanford Graves, of Blue Mountain, Mississippi, the 
widow of R. H. Graves, conducted a well-known school for blind girls. 
Blindness is widely prevalent all over South China. The great heart 
of Mrs. Graves was deeply moved for this unfortunate group. Girls 

Seven Months in the Orient 103 

are often unwanted and the hopeless plight of these miserable children 
was pitiable indeed. Mrs. Graves, supported by gifts from the women 
of Mississippi, supplemented by the Foreign Mission Board, had 
gathered about her a splendid, capable staff of missionaries and 
Chinese teachers. The school began in a modest way, but when I 
visited Canton, it had grown into an efficient missionary agency which 
attracted blind girls from all classes, rich and poor alike, from a wide 
area. Nothing I saw in China moved me more than this wonderful 
Christian service being rendered by Mrs. Graves and her associates. 

Another appealing work was being done by Miss Lydia Greene 
in the teaching of a large number of Chinese children in her kinder- 
garten school. It began, like all our mission work, in a modest way 
but had grown to imposing proportions and was then a training school 
for teachers. It was a beautiful and impressive sight to see this devoted 
American missionary and her Chinese helpers whom she had trained 
giving themselves unselfishly to this work. 

A little later when the Japanese armies overran and devastated 
South China, there was great misery and suffering among all classes 
of the Chinese. Since the suffering was especially bitter and severe 
among the helpless little children of Canton, this devoted missionary 
stayed on and with gifts from friends in America and the Foreign 
Mission Board was able to save hundreds of these little ones from 
starvation and death. She set up a feeding station and was able to 
buy with American money, food sufficient to give her little charges 
one good, nourishing meal a day. Communism soon overran Canton, 
as well as all China, but it was never able to beat out the glorious 
work done by Lydia Greene for the suffering children of her city. 

Large and flourishing schools were conducted by the South China 
Mission for both boys and girls. The faculties were composed of 
missionaries and Chinese teachers. Large numbers of young people 
were prepared in these schools for entrance into advanced schools, 
both American and Chinese. In fact, many of these students went on 
to our own Baptist University in Shanghai for further training. 

I have already spoken of the work being done in our hospital in 
Canton by Dr. and Mrs. Hayes. I spent several days in Wuchow 
visiting the churches and the hospital there. Dr. George W. Leavell 
had done a splendid work through this hospital. When his health 
failed, the Board sent Dr. and Mrs. R. E. Beddoe, of Texas, to take 
up the work. They did a magnificent and far-reaching work in this 
strategic and fast-growing city. When they were transferred, the 

104 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

Board sent Dr. William Wallace who was highly successful in en- 
larging and extending the work, not only in the city, but throughout 
a wide area in Southwestern China. He became widely known and 
was greatly beloved by the Chinese of all classes. 

When the Communists overran Wuchow in 1950, Dr. Wallace was 
arrested and accused of being an American spy. He was isolated and 
treated with inhuman cruelty. In an effort to secure evidence to back 
up their charges that he was a spy, the Communists paraded Dr. 
Wallace through the streets of the city and the outlying areas, clothed 
only in his pajamas. Every effort was made to induce the Chinese, 
especially the Christians, to come forward and testify against him. 
After weeks of torture to get him to confess to the trumped-up charges 
that he was a spy, he was murdered in his cell. After this, his lifeless 
body was hanged by the neck, and it was given out that he had died 
by suicide. The mutilated body was then turned over to the Chris- 
tians, who sorrowfully buried him in the Christian cemetery in 
Wuchow. It was one of the most brutal murders ever committed in 
the history of missions. 

There was universal sorrow and regret over the resignation of 
Dr. M. T. Rankin as president of the Graves Theological Seminary to 
serve as regional secretary for the Orient, with offices in Shanghai. 
The Mission was somewhat comforted when we announced that a 
new missionary would be sent out for the presidency of the Graves 
Theological Seminary. Missionary Eugene Hill and his wife took up 
the work of the seminary. 

Dr. Rankin did a splendid work in his new task of supervising all 
our work in Japan and China, serving in this capacity with success 
and general acceptance until the Japanese overran China. Along with 
many more of our China missionaries, he was thrown into a miserable 
concentration camp in Hong Kong. I did not see it all then, but God, 
the Author of missions, had in training in the bitter school of ad- 
versity, the future Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board. 

In 1903, when the Foreign Mission Board decided that the time 
had come to extend its work into the interior of China, Missionary 
W. W. Lawton, a native of South Carolina, was chosen to lead in this 
new endeavor. In the fall of that year, W. Eugene Sallee, a native 
of Kentucky and a graduate of our Louisville seminary was appointed 
to join Mr. Lawton in this new and challenging undertaking in the 
interior of China. He was a young man of outstanding ability, wholly 
committed to mission work in China. Honan Province, with a popula- 

Seven Months in the Orient 105 

tion of thirty-five million people, was selected as the field for the 
new mission work. Missionaries Lawton and Sallee traveled hundreds 
of miles by river boats and other slow means to reach the destination 
of their new work. The last fifteen miles were covered on foot; their 
baggage was carried in wheel barrows pushed by coolies. Mr. Lawton 
already knew the language, and Mr. Sallee with the aid of a native 
teacher began at once the difficult work of learning to preach in a 
strange tongue. 

Kaifeng, the important capital of the province, and the near-by 
city of Chengchow were the outposts for the work of the missionaries, 
a work which in the years to come was to grow into one of the greatest 
mission undertakings in all China. 

In a week's time after reaching Chengchow the missionaries found 
a location and began work. They rented a good-sized compound, 
arranged living quarters in the rear, and fixed up the front, which 
faced a prominent street, for a preaching place. Mr. Lawton began 
preaching at once, with Mr. Sallee assisting in every way possible. 
In addition to his language study, he distributed tracts and invited 
the people to the services. 

The work grew from the beginning, and soon the little chapel was 
filled with attentive listeners. Finally, Mrs. Lawton and the two 
little girls, after many hardships of travel, reached Chengchow. 
A small, crude home had been fitted up by Mr. Lawton, and the work 
took on new impetus when he was freed for more devoted effort in 
the work of preaching. The Chinese crowded the chapel and soon 
overflowed into the home. They were curious and greatly interested 
in their first sight of a foreign woman and the little American girls. 
Soon a new missionary, Mr. A. Y. Napier, was sent out to join this 
tiny group in the far interior of China. After Mr. Sallee had completed 
the first phase of language study, he was able to begin preaching in 

On September 18, 1906, Mr. Sallee and Miss Annie Jenkins, of 
Waco, Texas, were married in Shanghai in the home of Miss Willie 
Kelly. Mr. Frank Rawlinson, a classmate of Mr. Sallee, performed 
the ceremony. After a stay of one week in Shanghai, Mr. and Mrs. 
Sallee went to Chengchow. 

On September 5, 1907, Mr. Sallee baptized four converts, his first 
time to perform this sacred ordinance in China. About this time, 
Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Herring, who had been working with the Gospel 
Mission, came to our Board and were sent to Chengchow. The Board 

106 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

decided to expand, and to enter the large and important city of 
Kaifeng, the capital of Honan Province, six miles from the Yellow 
River. Mr. and Mrs. Sallee were selected for the work, the move being 
made in 1908. The Sunday after their arrival in the city, the first 
service was held with a congregation of five people. When the men 
asked Mr. Sallee about the crops, the products, the habits, and the 
customs of the people in America, his reply was, "Well, they are 
civilized in the United States just as we are." 

Honan Province, with its teeming millions, was almost entirely 
dependent upon agriculture. Wheat was the main crop, and the yield 
was often poor. Famine, with its trials, suffering, and disease, was 
a constant threat to the lives of the people. Mr. Sallee, who had been 
reared in the rich bluegrass of Kentucky, where there were abundant 
harvests with prosperity and plenty on every hand, soon conceived 
the idea of improving the yield of wheat by improving the quality 
of the seed. He began the slow process of selecting year by year the 
best wheat available. The agricultural authorities of the provincial 
college gladly co-operated with him in this undertaking, the object 
before the Kaifeng College being to improve the yield of all food 
crops, especially wheat. 

The missionaries of the Interior Mission soon found that one of 
the big problems facing them was the securing of an adequate milk 
supply, for they were dependent upon the very uncertain and meager 
supply obtained from a flock of goats. They first experimented with 
native cows but found this unsatisfactory. Cows, used for plowing 
the fields, gave little milk and were rarely used for meat unless they 
were diseased or too old to pull a plow. A quart of milk a day was 
the average supply furnished by one cow. 

Mr. Sallee conceived the idea of bringing in a small herd of the 
very best milk cows to be had in America. On his furlough in 1919, 
he visited a number of the big breeders of dairy cattle in America. 
He told them of his dreams and plans for securing a small herd of 
registered milk cows to take back with him to his mission in China. 

The missionary had a sympathetic response from the cattle breeders 
of America to his appeal for help in carrying out his dream of building 
up the food supply of his adopted people in China. He secured from 
donations, mainly from the North, twenty-two head of fine blooded 
cattle— eleven Holsteins and eleven Jerseys. Money enough was also 
given for the transportation of his cattle to interior China. En route 
to China the cattle became infected with rinderpest germs, and in 

Seven Months in the Orient 107 

two weeks after arriving in Kaifeng the cows began to die. Soon all 
but five were dead. However, Mr. Sallee was not discouraged, and 
in a few months his fine purebreds had increased to fifteen pure and 
seventeen half-breeds, worth at least six thousand dollars in American 
money. Best of all, the people began to learn to drink milk. Soon 
many Chinese families, besides foreigners, were being furnished with 
rich milk. 

The cattle industry grew and the provincial government was greatly 
impressed with the success of this new mission project. Nothing ever 
undertaken by these resourceful missionaries made a finer impression 
upon the pagan people of China for the gospel of Christ, than these 
practical steps to help feed the starving people. 

As we write these words our missionaries are restricted in their 
labors to Hong Kong and adjacent areas in Baptist territory. Since 
1949 Chinese refugees have been pouring into Hong Kong from 
mainland China's eighteen provinces. There are now eight Baptist 
churches in this city of nearly 2,500,000 population. The oldest church 
with continued existence is Cheung Chow, organized in 1842. 

Our missionaries formerly working in China have been deployed 
to other areas in the Orient where millions of Chinese and other 
people may be reached, Formosa, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, 
Malaya, and Indonesia. Tins reminds us of New Testament days, 
when they that were scattered abroad by persecution "went every- 
where preaching the word." 

Down Under the Southern Cross 

Southern baptists began work in Brazil in 1881, when Reverend 
and Mrs. W. B. Bagby, of Texas, appointed by our Foreign Mission 
Board in December, 1880, were the first Baptist missionaries to enter 
the country. 

After the defeat of the South in the Civil War, there were many 
in the deep South who felt they could never again live in happiness 
under the stars and stripes. Colonies from South Carolina, Georgia, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas went out to Brazil to raise coffee 
and cotton with slave labor. The main center of operations for these 
self-exiled Southerners was at Santa Barbara, near Sao Paulo, South- 
ern Brazil. Here they organized a Baptist church where their own 
group might worship. Upon the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Bagby in 
Rio Janeiro, they found a letter from this little Baptist group in 
Santa Barbara, inviting them to come and preach for the church 
while they were studying the language. Accepting the invitation, 
they found a royal welcome awaiting them from these homesick exiles 
from Dixie. 

In 1882, Reverend and Mrs. Z. C. Taylor were sent out by the 
Foreign Mission Board to join the Bagbys at Santa Barbara. They 
spent a year here in preaching and in studying Portuguese. As soon 
as they felt that they had acquired a working knowledge of the lan- 
guage, they decided to go more than a thousand miles to Bahia, the 
most antagonistic Catholic city in Brazil. The Catholics in Bahia claim 
that they have 365 churches in the city of 400,000 people, one for every 
day of the year. I do not vouch for the truth of this claim, but I do 
know that wherever one turns in Bahia, there is a Catholic church 

Late in October, 1882, the missionaries at Bahia organized the 
first Brazilian Baptist church. Having made a beginning in a great 
city in the north, they decided that the time had come to launch a 


Down Under the Southern Cross 109 

Baptist mission in Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the country. The 
Bagbys, leaving the Taylors in charge of the newly-organized work 
in Bahia, went to Rio and began our work there in 1883. In 1884, 
after many trying experiences and in the face of bitter persecution 
on the part of the Catholics, the Bagbys organized a Baptist church. 
Now there are nearly one hundred Baptist churches in Rio. 

In May, 1936, the Foreign Mission Board authorized the Executive 
Secretary to visit our missions in South America and to select a 
Baptist leader to accompany him on an inspection tour of our work 
in the lands of South America. I selected Dr. L. R. Scarborough, 
president of the Southwestern Theological Seminary at Fort Worth, 
to go with me. He and Mrs. Scarborough made the trip at their own 

Our party, in addition to Dr. and Mrs. Scarborough, consisted of 
Dr. W. C. Taylor, secretary for our work in Latin America, Mrs. 
Taylor and their twelve-year-old daughter Betty, Mrs. Maddry, and 
Miss Mary Shepherd, secretary to Dr. Taylor. 


We caught our first sight of South America on June 1 and two days 
later sailed into Rio de Janeiro, the most beautiful harbor we have 
seen in the world. 

Here began some six weeks of mission conferences, preaching 
engagements, and fellowship with a glorious company of devoted and 
courageous missionaries. With Rio as a center, we visited our churches 
and schools in the outlying areas, making fruitful contacts with all 
phases of our work in the city, the Federal District, and the state 
of Rio. 

The annual Mission meeting for all South Brazil was held in Rio. 
At these meetings, reports are presented from all stations and mission 
points. The meetings, much like associational meetings in the home- 
land, usually last about a week. They are of great social and spiritual 
value, especially for the missionaries who are serving in isolated sta- 
tions in the interior. At this time the needs of every field are carefully 
canvassed, and requests for appropriations are sent up to the Board 
in Richmond as well as requests for new missionary recruits and 
replacements. This meeting was of special importance. 

The outstanding business of the Mission meeting was the dedica- 
tion of the new building for the Carroll Memorial Publishing House, 
which had been under construction for some months. This publishing 

110 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

house has been one of the greatest evangelizing agencies in all 
South America. All the Portuguese literature, books, and tracts for 
our Baptist work in Brazil are published there. 

A meeting of the National Baptist Convention for all Brazil was 
held in the city of Recife during the latter part of June. Nearly all the 
missionaries attended the annual meeting, and a large number of 
native pastors, laymen, and women came from all parts of Brazil. 

Our party was welcomed with great enthusiasm. It was a meeting 
of far-reaching importance, and plans were made for advancement 
in all departments of work of the Convention. The Executive Secre- 
tary was heard with deep interest as he outlined plans for closer co- 
operation between the Brazilian Convention and the sponsoring Board 
in North America. We found the Convention ready to assume a larger 
part than ever before in the plans for the support of the work. The 
seed-sowing of fifty years on the part of the North American Foreign 
Mission Board was beginning to pay rich dividends in the promise 
of the national churches to assume a larger share in the evangelization 
of their own people. 

It was ten o'clock in the evening and the National Convention was 
just getting under way. The president had told Dr. Scarborough that 
he would call on him to pronounce the benediction when the Con- 
vention adjourned. In the president's speech, made in Portuguese, he 
mentioned the names of the visitors and upon hearing his name called 
Dr. Scarborough arose and dismissed the Convention. There was a 
good laugh all around, and the visitor enjoyed the joke as much as 
the Brazilians. 

At the close of the meeting of the National Convention, we went 
home with Mr. and Mrs. M. G. White of Bahia. We were especially 
impressed with the work that was carried on by Mrs. White among 
the leading young women of Catholic faith. The missionary had 
organized a class in cooking and sewing, and the young daughters of 
wealthy families came in large numbers to learn the art of home- 
making from the cultured and gifted missionary of the despised little 
Baptist group. Though the Catholic priest had done his best to pre- 
vent the young matrons of his parish from attending the school of 
this young missionary, through the influence of the classes many 
doors were being opened into the homes of leading Catholic families 
of the city. 

We had an engagement in Victoria, a city about half-way between 
Bahia and Pernambuco (Recife) but found that there was no boat 

Down Under the Southern Cross 111 

schedule that would enable us to reach our engagement at the ap- 
pointed time. Having never traveled by airplane, Dr. Scarborough 
and I were very reluctant to make the trip by air. Rather than miss 
our engagement in Victoria, we left our wives to join us later by boat 
in Rio, and took to the air for the dreaded trip to Victoria. I was like 
the colored brother who went up for his first flight. When he landed 
safely, a friend asked him if he was scared. He replied that he was 
not scared because "he never did quite rest all his weight on the 
strange thing." However, we made the trip safely and met our engage- 
ment on time. After a delightful visit with the missionaries in Victoria 
where Mrs. Reno was still serving, we returned by hydroplane to Rio. 
While we were in North Brazil our schedule did not permit us to go 
up into the Amazon Valley, now the Equatorial Mission where the 
veteran E. A. Nelson wrought so faithfully many years. 

In a few days we left Rio for a visit with our missionaries and 
churches in the great interior state of Minas. This state, which is as 
large as Texas, is fabulously rich in minerals and grazing lands. A 
great center for cattle raising, it is destined to be one of the wealthiest 
states in all Brazil. 

When we reached Belo Horizonte, the missionaries and a large 
group of native pastors, leading women, and students of the Baptist 
college gave us a royal welcome. We were entertained in the lovely 
home of Mr. and Mrs. Maddox. We had been students together in 
the Louisville seminary in 1904 and 1905. The Maddox family is 
remarkable, not only in missionary service and achievement, but in 
giving to the cause of Christ four preachers, all four of whom became 
chaplains in World War II. 

The Baptist college in Belo Horizonte has grown in a marvelous 
way. The only Baptist college in this vast state of Minas, it has a 
magnificent campus on a high hill overlooking the beautiful capital 
of the state. There are several churches in the city, and our work 
under the direction of Evangelist J. R. Allen is rapidly spreading 
into the interior of this great state. 

From Belo Horizonte, we journeyed to Sao Paulo, the second city 
in Brazil and one of the great cities of South America. The state 
of Sao Paulo, marvelously rich in coffee, cotton, and timber, is rapidly 
growing into a great industrial empire. The population is over- 
whelmingly white— Spanish, Italian, and North European. Moreover, 
it is one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere. 

The Baptist work has grown and expanded in a wonderful way 

112 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

throughout the whole state. Paul Porter was for years the only field 
missionary in Sao Paulo. We have some splendid and influential 
churches in the city. There is a good church at Santos, the seaport 
of Sao Paulo and the largest coffee exporting port in the world. From 
this great port, ships go to all the world, carrying precious cargoes 
of coffee, cattle, leather, and mahogany, as well as a vast number of 
manufactured products. 

In Sao Paulo we have a large and fast-growing high school for girls. 
The school with its splendid group of buildings is centrally located 
and draws girls from the well-to-do families of the city and state 
of Sao Paulo. Reverend and Mrs. F. A. R. Morgan, the principals 
of the school, were assisted by Misses Mattie Baker, Essie Fuller, and 
Alma Jackson. The workers in the state at large were Reverend and 
Mrs. T. C. Bagby. Since our visit, several other missionaries have been 
sent to the state of Sao Paulo. 

Our stay in Sao Paulo was all too short, but engagements were 
waiting for us at Curityba and Porto Alegre. In Curityba we had 
blessed fellowship with missionaries Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Deter and 
Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Oliver. Mrs. Oliver is the daughter of Dr. and 
Mrs. Deter. Dr. Deter had general oversight of the evangelistic work, 
while Mr. Oliver had charge of the training school for preachers. The 
work here was making splendid progress in the fast growing city. 

Dr. Deter, a splendid missionary and a remarkable man in other 
ways, had faced bitter persecution from the Catholic priests; and the 
people greatly admired him for his courage and devotion to the 
right. He had acquired Brazilian citizenship, and was made a chaplain 
with the rank of captain in the Brazilian Army. The fact that he had 
served with distinction greatly added to his effectiveness as a mis- 

Our next stop was at the most southern mission station of our 
Board in Brazil. Here were located Dr. and Mrs. W. B. Bagby, the 
founders of our work in Brazil. They were living in useful retirement 
with their daughter, Miss Helen Bagby, who married Missionary 
W. E. Harrison in 1939. We spent ten days in their lovely home. Four 
of their children and a granddaughter have become missionaries in 
Latin America. Alice married Harley Smith, and, at the time we were 
diere, they were engaged in school and evangelistic work. Albert, the 
youngest son, married a missionaiy and located in Porto Alegre. 
Reverend T. C. Bagby and wife are evangelistic missionaries in the 
state of Sao Paulo. Thus the Bagby family, together with the sons, 

Down Under the Southern Cross 113 

sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and a granddaughter in Argentina, 
(Mrs. Anna Sowell Margrett), have given to Baptists a total of thirteen 
missionaries. I doubt if there is another Baptist family in the South 
that has made such a contribution to the missionary cause as the 
Bagby family. 

Brazilian Baptists have both a Home Mission Board, organized in 
1907, and a Foreign Mission Board. Dr. L. M. Bratcher, for many 
years Secretary of the Home Mission Board, was called to a glorious 
reward in December, 1953. 

We left South Brazil on a German hydroplane known as a Condor 
and landed in the harbor of the beautiful city of Montevideo, capital 
of Uruguay, on a cold day in mid-winter— about the middle of August. 


The Republic of Uruguay is a small country, if we consider only 
population and size. Despite constant pressure from its big neighbor 
just across the river, Rio de la Plata, Uruguay has managed to remain 
one of the most democratic and progressive states in all South 

Uruguay is a vast rolling plain, rising slightly in the north. The 
rivers, Rio de la Plata, Rio Negro, and Uruguay furnish easy commu- 
nication by water for the entire country, while the nation has a 130- 
mile Atlantic shoreline. 

Uruguay is often called the Switzerland of South America because 
of the stability of its government and the soundness of its currency. 
It has never been cursed with the oft-recurring political revolutions 
that harass and paralyze other South American countries. 

Our Baptist work in Uruguay, which was small, was organized as 
a part of the Argentine Mission. In Montevideo, we had two mis- 
sionaries—Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Orrick. Our main work was in the 
capital city where we had two good churches and several missions 
rapidly growing into churches. 


The next stop on our mission tour was Argentina. The principal 
cities are Buenos Aires, with a population of 3,000,371, and Rosario, 
with 461,688 inhabitants. The republic is comprised of fourteen 
provinces with ten territories. It is second in size to Brazil. In general, 
the country is a plain, rising westward from the Atlantic to the Chilean 
border and the towering peaks, including Aconcagua which is 23,081 

114 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

feet high, the highest peak in the world outside Asia. The climate is 
mild in winter and torrid in summer. The three great rivers forming 
the Plata system, the Parana, Paraguay, and the Uruguay, are im- 
portant commercial arteries in northern Argentina. 

Don Pablo Besson was born in Switzerland in 1848. His father was 
a distinguished pastor in the state church (the Presbyterian in that 
canton ) . His mother was a descendant of the Waldensians of northern 
Italy. He was highly educated and, from his youth, was a fighting 
advocate of absolute religious liberty. While studying for the Pres- 
byterian ministry, he experienced a revolutionary change that finally 
led into the fellowship of a small group of despised Baptists. He was 
baptized by Reverend J. B. Critin, a French pastor. For a time he 
served as a missionary of the American Baptist Mission Board in 
Fiance and Belgium. Then learning of a great spiritual destitution in 
Catholic-dominated South America, he came to Argentina. His father 
never forgave him for joining the despised and persecuted sect known 
as Baptists. 

Mr. Besson had not been in Argentina long before he realized that 
Baptists would always be at a serious disadvantage in the Argentine 
Republic unless some fundamental changes should be made in the 
laws of the country. Some of the young people of his flock wanted 
to marry, but the marrying business was a monopoly of the Roman 
Catholic priests. If a Baptist couple wanted to marry legally, they 
must first go to confession, that is, become Catholics. Also, the priest 
always made the fee prohibitive for the poor Baptists. Then, when 
one died, he could not be buried in the "holy ground" of a Catholic 

Mr. Besson realized that the very existence of the Baptists in 
Argentina was in peril until the laws of the land were changed, and 
his people, along with all Protestants, were granted religious freedom 
and decent human rights before the law. In 1888, the National Con- 
gress passed a bill establishing the civil register of births, marriages, 
and deaths for all citizens alike. No longer were the masses under 
the tyranny of the Catholic priesthood. Thus, Don Pablo Besson 
was the author of religious liberty for all the people of Argentina for 
all time. This noble patriot passed to his eternal reward in 1932. He 
was truly the founder of our Baptist work in Argentina. 

There were other worthy Baptists who came from Europe in the 
early days to reinforce the labor of Mr. Besson. They were not con- 
nected with any mission board but usually taught school and preached 

Down Under the Southern Cross 115 

on the side. The first of these was Reverend George Graham, an 
English Baptist, who located in the town of Las Flores in the Province 
of Buenos Aires. Here he conducted a boarding school for a living 
and preached as opportunity afforded. Another English Baptist, 
Frederick L. Newton, came out on faith, giving part time to teaching 
school and preaching as the occasion arose. Few families have made 
a greater contribution to the spiritual life of the Argentine, than the 
French family of Don Alberto Osterman. He was a merchant, and 
was converted under the preaching of Don Besson. Soon his two sons, 
Gabriel and Julio, were converted and began to preach also. Another 
early stalwart in preaching was Don Jogrin Otero, a Spaniard. He 
joined forces with Don Pablo Besson and was the organizing genius 
of our Baptist cause in those early days. 

There was a growing conviction on the part of many Southern 
Baptists that they should begin work in Argentina. For twenty years 
Mr. Besson had been praying and pleading for help from the Foreign 
Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Just at this time 
Reverend Sidney M. Sowell, a choice young man from Virginia, 
offered himself for this work. There was one difficulty in the way of 
appointing Mr. Sowell— he did not have a wife! It had been the policy 
of the Foreign Mission Board not to appoint an unmarried man as 
a missionaiy. Dr. Willingham, the Secretary, solved the problem by 
securing from Mr. Sowell the promise that on his way to Argentina, 
he would stop off at Sao Paulo, where Dr. W. B. Bagby and his family 
were laboring. The oldest daughter of Dr. Bagby was teaching in 
the Sao Paulo Girls' School. Mr. Sowell, true to his promise, stopped 
over for a two weeks visit with the Bagbys. It was love at first sight! 
Soon Miss Bagby became Mrs. Sowell, and in Buenos Aires they spent 
forty years together in happy and fruitful missionary service. Their 
daughter is now a missionary of our Board and is superintendent of 
the Argentina W. M. U. Training School. 

About the same time, the Board appointed Reverend and Mrs. J. L. 
Hart, Reverend and Mrs. K. W. Cawthon, Reverend and Mrs. Frank 
J. Fowler as fellow laborers with the Sowells in Argentina. At long 
last, there was a strong and aggressive Baptist missionary work firmly 
established in the three republics facing the Atlantic— all the way 
from northern Brazil to Tierra del Fuego. 

We reached Argentina about July 15. It was mid-winter and cold. 
The churches were all without heat, and the floors were of tile. We 
preached in cold auditoriums, wearing heavy flannels, overcoats, and 

116 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

rubbers. The missionary homes were inadequately heated, and we 
really suffered with cold. 

The annual meeting of the River Plate Mission was held in Buenos 
Aires and was an interesting and inspiring occasion. The missionaries 
of Paraguay and Uruguay were members of the Argentine Mission. 1 
Plans for enlargement and new missionary recruits were made, and 
all together it was an enthusiastic and forward-looking meeting. 


We crossed the Andes by Pan-Air, and it was a thrilling and in- 
spiring experience as the plane went up to eighteen thousand feet 
to get through the snow-covered gorges. We landed in the beautiful 
capital of Chile, Santiago, which is a city of 1,161,633 inhabitants. 

The Baptists have laid a splendid foundation in Chile, and with 
the large number of ardent new missionaries being sent out by our 
Board, before long the whole spiritual condition will be transformed. 
The domination of the Catholic Church over the masses of the popula- 
tion is slowly but surely being broken. 

Early missionaries in Chile in addition to Reverend W. D. T. 
MacDonald, the Scotchman, were Dr. and Mrs. R. C. Moore, Rev- 
erend and Mrs. J. L. Hart, transferred from the Argentine Mission, 
Reverend and Mrs. J. W. McGavock, Reverend and Mrs. W. E. Maier, 
and Misses Agnes Graham, Cornelia Brower, Anne Laseter, and 
Marjorie Spence. 

We met with the missionaries in their annual meeting and laid 
plans for the enlargement of the work in buildings and new missionary 
recruits. It was decided to open a new mission in Antofagasta, in the 
mining district to the north. We visited the churches in Santiago, 
Temuco, Concepcion, Valparaiso, and other cities. 

We have an efficient theological seminary and a splendid school 
for girls, the Colegio Bautista, founded at Temuco by Agnes Graham, 
which is fast transforming the young womanhood of all Chile. 

Among the cherished memories of our visit was the glorious 
work done by Agnes Graham during her twenty-seven years in 
Chile from the time she was appointed in June, 1920, until she was 
called to her heavenly home January 23, 1946. I have recalled many 
times that Sunday morning in October, 1916, how, after I had 
preached in the University Baptist Church, Austin, on "The Upward 
Calling," beautiful Agnes Graham heard God's call and came forward. 

1 In 1952 Paraguay was organized as a separate mission. 

Down Under the Southern Cross 117 

She was a junior in the university and a brilliant and outstanding 
student. As the pastor took her hand, her lovely face was suffused 
with tears, and she said gently but firmly: "I will go to the ends of 
the earth as He shall lead." 

Agnes Graham finished her course in the university with high 
honors and went on to the Woman's Missionary Union Training School 
at Louisville, Kentucky, where she graduated with distinction in 1920. 

With her background of culture and scholarship, it was easy for 
her to master the Spanish language, and in a few years she was 
speaking with the ease and fluency of a native. She was a born teacher 
and had the innate ability of inspiring enthusiasm and loyal devotion 
in all who came under her tuition. 

Some years prior to her arrival in Chile, Reverend W. D. T. 
MacDonald, a rugged and courageous Scotchman, had begun an 
independent Baptist work in the growing, pioneer cattle town of 
Temuco. Miss Graham joined in the work of this devoted preacher 
and, together with other faithful and far-sighted missionaries whom 
the Board sent out, laid the foundation for what has proved to be 
an ever-enlarging Baptist work, which today has spread all over the 

A letter came in January, 1946, from Miss Graham's co-worker, 
Cornelia Brower, telling of the multitudes who came to the funeral 
to bear sorrowful tribute to the missionary they loved so dearly. Miss 
Graham died suddenly, away from home, and it was entirely fitting 
that her body should be taken back to Temuco to rest among the 
people she loved so devotedly and near the great school to which 
she had given her life. Miss Brower, the one of all others closest to 
Miss Graham, tells the story of the funeral: 

The funeral services were held at five in the afternoon. We moved her to our 
largest assembly hall, but that was not large enough to hold the people who came. 
Every one says it was the largest funeral ever held in Temuco. They estimated 
that there must have been two thousand people following the hearse on foot- 
students, ex-students, friends, official representatives, government high school 
teachers, and friends from all classes of society. It was more like a triumphal 
procession than a funeral. 

All the papers published something about her. At her grave there were several 
speeches made by representatives of different groups. The missionary group was 
represented by one of the Alliance missionaries; the graduates by one of her 
best-loved ex-students; the teachers by one of our faculty who loved and ap- 
preciated her; the government high school by the principal; the student body by 
one of the next year's high school boys; and the Chilean pastors by the pastor 
of the Baptist Church of Valdivia. 

Agnes, greatheart for Christ in Chile! Hail and farewell! For you 
the night is past, and the dawn of an eternal day has come! 

Africa and India 

The executive secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, beginning 
in June, 1934, had visited all the mission fields of Southern Baptists 
except Africa. Plans were made for the African visit in 1937, but a 
sudden outbreak of yellow fever made it necessary to postpone the 
visit until the following year. Accompanied by Mrs. J. B. Boatwright 
of South Carolina and Dr. and Mrs. M. T. Andrews of Texas, Mrs. 
Maddry and I sailed from New York on May 24. After spending ten 
days with our Italian Mission Board, we sailed from Liverpool on 
June 15 and landed at Lagos, West Africa, on June 30. A large delega- 
tion of missionaries and African men and women from the churches 
of Lagos and inland cities were at the dock to welcome us. The official 
welcome of the Baptists of the Lagos District was extended to our 
party in a public service in the spacious but crowded auditorium of 
the First Baptist Church. It was a colorful and inspiring sight. The 
singing was wonderful, and I could understand at once why the 
Negroes of the South are such gifted singers. Nigeria is the ancestral 
home of nearly all our black people of the South. I was hearing for 
the first time the black folk sing in their native tongue and in their 
original homeland. It was an experience never to be forgotten. The 
Boys' School in Lagos is one of die outstanding examples of missionary 
work in Nigeria. 

We left Lagos on July 3 and made our first stop at Abeokuta. From 
the city as a center, we visited day by day the churches and schools 
of the Abeokuta District. Then for five weeks the tours continued 
from such centers as Iwo, Oyo, Shaki, Ogbomosho, Ibadan, Sapele, 
Benin City, and many other communities. Eveiywhere we went the 
welcome was generous and enthusiastic. I preached in churches and 
chapels, and when the crowds were too great to be accommodated 
in a house, I preached outdoors under the trees. 

Nigeria takes its name from the Niger River ( black ) which is one of 


Africa and India 119 

the great rivers of the world. Nigeria is one of the largest protectorates 
of the British Empire and is about the size of the combined area of 
Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Tennessee. 

Nigeria is vastly rich in raw materials such as rubber, timber, cocoa, 
peanuts, palm kernels, palm oil, and tin ore. The leading occupation 
of the people is agriculture. The methods of farming are very prim- 
itive, but with modern machinery and advanced methods of cultiva- 
tion, the yield from the soil would be almost limitless. The soil is 
exceedingly rich, and Nigeria is capable of feeding not only herself, 
but the British Isles also, if and when modem equipment and scientific 
methods of farming are put into practice. 

It may be said without reservation that, except among those 
who have accepted Christianity, polygamy is practiced throughout 
Nigeria. It is the curse of the land. It is the ambition of most men 
to have as many wives as they can buy and to have many, many chil- 
dren. A man's social and political importance and his economic status 
are indicated by the number of wives he has been able to acquire 
and the number of children crowding his compound. His wives and 
children constitute his main source of wealth. It is considered, there- 
fore, not a crime to be a polygamist, but rather a distinct honor. The 
women themselves, except Christians, approve of polygamy. 

The twin evil of polygamy is easy and frequent divorce. The wife 
has no voice in the choice of her husband and she is often sadly 
disappointed by his brutality and ill-treatment. He cannot divorce 
her, but she can divorce him by simply paying back the dowry money 
paid her parents by the husband. There is always a surplus of un- 
married men, and wives are at a premium. There are few unattached 
women in Nigeria. The divorced woman is always able to find another 
man who is willing to pay the dowry money and take her. 

When we were in the capital city of all the Yorubas, the king 
came to hear me preach. It was the first gospel sermon he had ever 
heard. It is said that he had five hundred wives. Two of his favorite 
wives came with him to church. 

I was greatly pleased at the progress of our work in the eighty-six 
years since T. J. Bowen of Georgia began his work as the first mis- 
sionary. Today we have about 150 missionaries in Nigeria including 
some twelve American medical missionaries. There are 250 elemen- 
tary schools, six high schools, five normal schools, one training school, 
and one theological seminary. 

120 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

In Nigeria we have 283 churches, and in the Gold Coast there are 
38 more. In 1953, there were 3,370 baptisms reported. We have four 
hospitals, five dispensaries, and in 1952 we treated a total of 38,912 
patients. There was in 1952 a leper colony at Ogbomosho with 785 
patients; also, there were several smaller settlements, and many lepers 
are being healed if they are treated in the early stages of the disease. 
Many patients are being treated with the new sulfone drugs. There is 
a Baptist church with a large membership in the Ogbomosho leper 
colony. The schools and hospitals in Nigeria are great evangelizing 

In Oyo, Nigeria, at breakfast in the home of one of our missionaries, 
we were sitting beside Dr. George Green, when one of the table 
boys came and told the doctor that there was someone in the back 
yard of the Mission house waiting to see him. Dr. Green excused 
himself and went out. I thought that it was just one more case of 
sickness or suffering calling for the professional services of the doctor. 
Presently he returned smiling and, in answer to our inquiry for 
the reason of the joy that was written in his face, said that an old 
friend had come to call upon him and had brought him a calabash of 
green corn. I at once sensed a good story and induced the modest 
medical man to tell us the reason for the warm gratitude of the old 

Several years ago, an old blind man had found his way to Dr. 
Green's clinic at Ogbomosho and had appealed to the doctor to give 
him back his eyesight. The doctor had examined him and found that 
he had been totally blind from cataracts for several years. Dr. Green 
performed the delicate operation. After several days of anxious wait- 
ing, the bandages were removed, and, to the amazement of the old 
man and the joy of the doctor, the patient could see. Dr. Green fitted 
him with glasses, and after a few weeks, when he was dismissed 
from the hospital, he had almost perfect eyesight. 

The joy and gratitude of the old man knew no bounds. And the 
best part of the story is that during these days of waiting in the 
hospital, the medical missionary had taught him the love and mercy 
of a Saviour who was waiting to save him. The old man had found 
in the mission hospital something greater than his physical eyesight; 
he had found the glorious light of the Saviour's face in the pardon 
and forgiveness of his sins. 

He went home and was gone for some days. Then one day he 
came back leading a suing of ten blind men. Dr. Green examined 

Africa and India 121 

them and saw that some were stone blind, while others were suffer- 
ing from cataracts or other curable diseases of the eyes. The doctor 
took them in and operated on several of them. He was able to relieve 
some of them and give back their eyesight. Finally, the day came 
when he had to announce to those who were hopelessly blind that he 
could do nothing for them. Dr. Green said it was a heartbreaking 
hour that he would never forget. The blind men cried, wailed, and 
begged the missionary not to send them away in darkness but to give 
them back their eyesight, as he had the others. He tried to explain 
that he could not help them, but they thought that he was offended 
with them in some way and, therefore, would do nothing for them. 
They crawled over the floor, kissed the doctor's shoes, hugged his 
legs, and over and over in piteous appeal said: "Master, why are you 
angry? What have we done to offend you? Please give us back our 
eyesight, too." 

Dr. Green said that whenever he visited Oyo, thereafter, the once 
blind man always came to him bringing his simple gifts as an ex- 
pression of some of the gratitude in his heart for what the missionary 
doctor had done for him. 

I shall never forget an African king who, after seeing some of our 
mission activities, begged us to send some missionaries to his people. 
It was several years before a couple was appointed to that field. In 
the meantime the old king died, and one of his last words was an 
inquiry when missionaries would be sent to his people. 

Before I turn away from Africa, let me tell the story of the J. C. 
Powells, typical of the experiences of other missionaries. 

In the days when our Board was crushed by debt and we had 
borrowed already too much at the banks, the Board said to these 
devoted missionaries, "You can't go back to Africa. We accept your 
resignation." They were down in North Carolina living with Mrs. 
Powell's widowed mother. I had just come to the Board as Executive 
Secretary and was trying to carry out the instructions of the Board. 
In a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Powell I said, "You cannot go back to 
Africa. We do not have the money for your expenses or salary. We 
are accepting your resignation. You will have to find other work." 
I had a letter from Mr. Powell in which he said, "We got the call to 
go to Africa from God. It is his plan for us to be out there with the 
black people. Now, the Board may say we cannot go, but God called 
us, and we will go." 

I tried by correspondence to convince them they could not go, but 

122 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

failed. One cold, snowy Saturday I got on the train and went down 
to eastern North Carolina and spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. 
Powell. I tried to convince them they could not go back to Africa. 
They just smiled and said, "God called us to Africa, and he is going to 
send us back. We have been talking to him about this in prayer." 

Mrs. Powell said, "Why, I have absolute faith that God will provide 
a way for us to go back when our furlough is over. I am busy sewing 
and getting our outfit together and packing our trunks." 

Monday morning Mr. Powell took me to the train. The last thing I 
said was, "Now, just forget it, you can't go back to Africa." 

He laughed and said, "Will you just do one thing for me— make 
reservation for us?" 

I said, "I'll do that, but you cannot go." 

He said, "Anyway, you make the reservation and get our passage. 
We will go back to Africa." 

In a few days a letter came from Texas, signed by a woman of 
whom I never heard. She said, in substance, "I am a widow, a seam- 
stress. I make my living by sewing. I have a girl who will be ready 
for college next fall. I have dreamed for years of sending her to 
college, and I have been praying to God to call her to be a missionary. 
I have saved up $150 toward the expenses for Lucille's college course. 
I saw in Home and Foreign Fields that Mr. and Mrs. Powell could 
not go back to Africa because there was no money provided. So 
Lucille and I prayed and decided to give the $150 to help send the 
Powells back. I am enclosing my check for $150." 

I kept the check two or three days and sent it back with a note 
saying that the check wouldn't begin to pay for tickets for the Powells. 
They would cost $800, and their salary would be $1600. It was too 
much of a sacrifice to take the check for $150 which had been saved 
for Lucille's college course. The letter had hardly had time to get to 
Texas before the check came back again with a letter from the lady 
saying that God had told her to send the check, and I was to use it 
as far as it would go. The amazing thing that happened was the way 
money came in. One woman sent $800, another $50, another $100, 
and $500, and $800. The checks came from all over the South without 
anybody asking for them. Each one who sent money said God had 
told them to send it so the Powells could go back to Africa. The 
Powells came through Richmond on their way to Africa. We sat in 
my office and counted the money. There was enough left over to send 
back $500 to a woman in South Carolina. 

Africa and India 123 

World Missionary Conference in India 

The World Missionary Conference met in Madras, India, during 
the last ten days of 1938, shortly after our visit to Africa. The Exec- 
utive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern 
Baptist Convention was elected to represent the Baptists of the South 
in this significant and momentous conference. I left New York on the 
Queen Mary the middle of November and landed at Cherbourg, 
France. I went to Paris for a few days' conference with our European 
Secretary, Dr. Everett Gill. Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, president, and 
Dr. W. O. Lewis, American secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, 
came to Paris for a conference concerning the forthcoming meeting 
of the Alliance in Atlanta. We spent Thanksgiving Day together, and 
early next morning I left by train for Marseilles. It was a tedious 
trip, and I was very tired when I reached this southern port of France 
and went aboard an English liner bound for Bombay, India. 

I had seen China with her millions without Christ. I had seen 
Africa, in her superstition and heathenism, but words fail me when 
I tiy to tell of the poverty, superstition, degradation, and appalling 
sin of India. I was especially moved over the almost hopeless state 
of the untouchables in their isolation and economic misery. There 
were more than 60,000,000 untouchables in India. They were not 
allowed to associate in any way with the superior upper classes but 
were kept in poverty, crowded in the slums, separate and apart 
from their fellows. They were not permitted to drink at the public 
fountains or attend the public schools or play in the public parks. 
Only the lowest and most degraded forms of employment were 
open to them, such as common scavengers and cleaners of the open 
sewers. For one of the upper class to touch one of these hopeless 
ones was strictly forbidden. Truly their social and economic status 
was appalling beyond description. The sacred cows wandered 
through the streets, grazed on the public squares, and were held 
in far higher esteem than the untouchables. However, in recent years 
progress is being made in elevating the status of these people. 

On my way to the Madras Missionary Conference I remained for 
some five days in Bombay along with the Methodist leaders from 
America. I was graciously entertained in the Methodist Mission 
House. Here I met Dr. Ambedkar, the leader of India's sixty million 
untouchables. The lady superintendent of the Methodist work in 
the Bombay area had assisted Dr. Ambedkar in editing and publish- 

124 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

ing his latest book. He was a brilliant scholar, and after finishing his 
undergraduate work in the Methodist University of Bombay, he 
came to America and took a doctor's degree from Columbia Uni- 
versity. This Methodist superintendent was much concerned for the 
conversion of this great leader of India's untouchables. She gave a 
dinner for the American visitors, and Dr. Ambedkar was present. 
The missionary wanted him to come in contact with some of the 
religious leaders of America. The treatment accorded this leader of 
the untouchables by the religious fanatics of America, especially in 
some of his travels in the South, had given him a bad opinion of 
Christianity in America. To our question as to his attitude toward 
Christ, this brilliant leader of his people replied that he accepted 
Christ as a great teacher and friend of the lowly, but because of 
what he had seen of America's attitude toward the colored races, he 
could not accept him as Saviour. He kept referring to America as 
"Christian America." I tried to convince him that not all America 
was Christian, but he seemed to be obsessed with the idea that 
America was a Christian nation and was unjust in her treatment of 
all colored peoples. 

It took a day and a night to cross India by train. The sleeping 
cars were just leather-covered couches, and every passenger had 
to provide his own sheets and blankets. Compared with an American 
Pullman car, the accommodations were anything but desirable. The 
World Missionary Conference met at one of the finest Christian 
mission colleges of India. The students were absent for the Christ- 
mas holidays, and all the facilities of the college were turned over 
to delegates attending the conference. The rooms were comfortable, 
and the campus and surroundings were attractive in every way. The 
college at Tambaram was fifteen miles from the great city of Madras, 
and there were trains to and from the city every hour. 

The so-called "younger churches" from India, Africa, China, 
Japan, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and Europe sent large delega- 
tions. It was truly a brilliant and notable gathering. It was claimed 
that like Pentecost they were there from all over the world speaking 
many dialects and tongues. Surely God was in the meeting. It was 
an inspiring event when the roll call of the nations took place. 

One of my most vivid impressions was that the leaders in the 
national churches were becoming the leaders of the Christian move- 
ment in their own lands and in the world. 

The World Missionary Conference was organized along the most 

Africa and India 125 

modern and efficient lines. Every member was assigned to work with 
some committee on "Findings." Dr. John R. Mott was chairman over 
all, and he appointed a chairman over each committee. We were 
given about ten days to complete our work and then plenary sessions 
were held at the close of the meetings to pass upon the findings 
of each group. 

In the group meetings we soon found that no place was provided 
for new subjects not included in the printed agenda handed to the 
committees, and that we were supposed to approve the matters 
handed down to us by the guiding minds of the Conference. 

Just at this time Southern Baptists were suffering persecution in 
Rumania at the hands of the Greek Orthodox Church. I thought that 
the Conference offered a splendid platform for the airing of this 
matter before all the world. Therefore, I introduced a resolution 
condemning this persecution and placing the Conference on record 
as opposed to the current outbreak. In the committee I was supported 
by Northern Baptists, Southern Methodists, and Presbyterians. All 
the delegates from state-controlled churches voted against us. I 
expected this and prepared to carry the matter to the plenary session 
of the Conference. 

On the last night of the Conference our report of "findings" came 
up for adoption. There were beautiful speeches lauding the com- 
mittee for such a statesmanlike report, and Dr. Mott asked if there 
was anyone else who desired to speak on the matter. I had sent up 
a note beforehand asking the right to be heard for ten minutes. The 
request was granted, and I went to the platform and stated my 
case. It gave me the chance to get before the whole Conference the 
fact that while we were there passing platitudes about church union 
and the beautiful example of almost universal co-operation, there 
were members of the Conference from Rumania persecuting their 
fellow Christians called Baptists and filling Rumanian jails with 
Baptist preachers. Our protest was rejected, as we expected, but 
delegates from all over the world, while not voting with us, came 
offering congratulations for the stand we had taken. Of course, the 
brethren from the countries where the churches are dominated by 
the state were displeased. They felt that it was unfortunate that the 
lovely harmony of the closing session of the Conference had been 
broken by the introduction of such a disturbing matter. 

On Christmas Sunday, 1938, the American delegates to the World 
Missionary Conference were invited to spend the day with the Amer- 

126 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

ican Baptist Mission in Madras. We worshiped with a large church 
made up entirely of untouchables. The pastor was an untouchable, 
highly educated and on fire with zeal for the lost. It was a never-to- 
be-forgotten hour. The singing was inspiring and uplifting. The 
sermon was delivered with great earnestness and enthusiasm. I saw 
the people all around us weeping, and they seemed profoundly 
moved. I, too, found myself moved with the people about me. 
Though I could not understand a word the preacher said, I knew 
it was an effective and Spirit-filled message. 

We dined with the Northern Baptist missionaries, and, commenting 
on the sermon, I inquired as to the subject under discussion. One 
missionary friend replied that the pastor was preaching on the cross. 
In India I was seeing, first hand, after nearly a century and a half, 
some of the glorious results of the work of William Carey, the 
cobbler, and the Kettering Movement. 

I went to sleep that night with a song of joy and thanksgiving 
in my heart over the outcome of that meeting at Kettering in 1792, 
when "thirteen nobodies" organized the first Baptist Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society in the world and gave <£ 13, 2 s, 6 d, about $63.00, to 
send the gospel to India's millions. 

I sailed from Bombay on January 5, 1939. The weather was 
stormy, and the sea was rough. It was indeed a lonely and tiresome 
trip of three weeks. I had been planning for several years to write a 
new mission study book on Nigeria. Before going to Africa I had 
gathered a great deal of material concerning our Nigerian Mission, 
especially informing myself on the historic background. I knew the 
facts concerning the work and location of every missionary who had 
served during the many years of the life of the Mission. On the 
visit to Africa in the summer of 1938, I had tried to fit the historic 
data I had gathered into the work of every missionary who had 
served in Nigeria. While it was all fresh in my mind, I decided to 
write the book. On the three weeks' trip from Bombay to New York, 
I spent seven hours a day writing. It was an exhausting task, but 
when I reached New York, the first draft of the book was finished. 
It was published in the summer of 1939, under the title of Day Dawn 
in Yoruba Land. The book passed through several editions and had 
a wide sale among Southern Baptists. I reached home on the first 
of February tired but happy in the belief that the trip had been of 
some value to our foreign mission work and that God's blessing had 
been poured out upon us. 

America's Day of Infamy 

Suddenly there was a tremendous roar and the whole island seemed 
to shiver and surge like a mighty ship in the grip of a raging storm. 

"There must be a terrible storm coming up. I do not think I ever 
heard such a crash of thunder. Do you have many such violent 
thunderstorms in Honolulu in mid-winter?" 

"No," said the Japanese maid who was cleaning my room in the 
hotel. "It does not sound like thunder to me. It sounds more like 
bursting bombs and big guns. The whole earth seems to shake." 

My window looked out toward Pearl Harbor. I pulled up the 
shade and to my amazement saw up amid the clouds a fighter plane, 
apparently out of control, partially enveloped in smoke. It was roll- 
ing and surging like an angry, billowing cloud. Some distance below 
the rolling plane, to the left, I saw a rapidly decending parachute. 
The cords were plainly visible but the pilot was hidden in boiling 
clouds of black smoke. The parachute seemed to have been caught 
in a terrible cross-fire of bursting shells. 

The crashing roll of what I thought at first was thunder seemed 
to die away in a series of terrific explosions in the direction of the 
Pearl Harbor area. 

There was a brief pause and a lull that was ominous of impending 
disaster. Then the roar of an anti-aircraft gun rent the stillness. 
This was followed by another and then a second terrific explosion 
that seemed to shake the city and surrounding hills to their veiy 

It finally dawned on me that this was far more serious than a 
Sunday morning "alert" or a practice display of military and naval 

I had reached Honolulu early Wednesday morning, December 3, 
1941. The fifteen missionaries constituting the Hawaiian Baptist 
Mission were at the dock to give me a heart-warming and enthusiastic 


128 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

welcome. A committee of three from the Mission had been appointed 
to conduct me on an extensive survey of our work throughout Oahu, 
the island upon which Honolulu is situated. This first day we drove 
one hundred miles over the splendid boulevard which the American 
government has built around the perimeter of this main island of the 
Hawaiian group. 

After visiting many villages and community centers of the sugar- 
cane and pineapple industry, about 4 o'clock we came to the winding 
stretch of road as it skips and skirts the red volcanic peaks surround- 
ing Pearl Harbor. Suddenly as we rounded an out-jutting peak there 
burst into view the mighty American fleet riding peacefully at anchor 
on the placid, inland lake known as Pearl Harbor. It was without 
doubt the most imposing and impressive sight my eyes had ever 
looked upon. 

"Look, boys, at that gigantic structure of the Arizona. It seems to 
me that one big bomb or shell rightly placed in that complicated 
and elaborate maze of steel would put the mighty ship out of con- 
trol immediately." 

"No," said a Texas missionary, with pride and enthusiasm, "that 
is the strongest battle fleet ever assembled at one anchorage. That 
fleet can whip any navy in the world." 

With a sense of pride and confidence in the might of the American 
Navy to guard and defend our shores, we drove on into the city 
of Honolulu with a feeling of smug satisfaction that the Texas 
brother had expressed the sentiment of each of us. 

It was a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning in semi-tropical Honolulu, 
at the crossroads of the Pacific. Fleecy clouds of vapor in lazy spirals 
floated around the summits of the red-tinted peaks of volcanic rock. 
The valleys were still shrouded in mists. 

Far out to the west, with an occasional break in the clouds, one 
could see for a moment the majestic swell of the Pacific as it broke 
in long sweeps on the beach of the island of Oahu. The sweet and 
pungent odor of myriads of semi-tropical flowers filled the air. All 
nature seemed at rest, and the birds were singing with joy and 

I was up early getting ready for three services to be held at dif- 
ferent stations. I was to lay the cornerstone of a new church that 
day, and for Sunday night a meeting for the soldiers and sailors 
at Wheeler Field had been arranged. But the three sermons prepared 
for that day were not delivered. 

Charles E. Maddry at the desk 
used by Matthew T. Yates 

Charles E. Maddry at seventy-six 

Mrs. Charles E. Maddry in 1933 

America's Day of Infamy 129 

The clock in the bell tower of the University of Hawaii struck 
seven-forty -five. An eternity of agony crowded into ten minutes! 
Seven-fifty-five, and America's "day of infamy" would be ushered in! 

After hearing the explosions I hastily made my way down the 
two flights of steps leading to the hotel lobby. At the foot of the 
stairs, I met the hotel manager. He was wringing his hands in an 
agony of hysteria, and calling out in a voice choking with sobs. 
"Vacate your rooms at once. Come down to the ground floor. The 
hotel may be struck any minute. It's the real thing. It's the real thing." 

"What do you mean? What is the real thing?" 

"It's war. It's war. The whole island is under attack of enemy 
bombers. It has just come in over the radio. We are at war." 

"No, no, it surely can't be war!" 

"Yes, it's war. The radio has just announced that the fleet at Pearl 
Harbor is under attack. Some of our ships have already been sunk. 
An enemy plane has been shot down with the emblem of the Rising 
Sun on the wings." 

I ran toward the lobby, and it seemed to me that every guest in 
the hotel was already there or on the way. Many were in a wild panic 
of fear and hysteria. Children were crying, and there was fear and 
terrible confusion on every hand. 

The radio was turned on full volume. It was blaring forth the 
details of the awful tragedy that was unfolding minute by minute. 
The most appalling and destructive war of all the ages had begun! 

Many of the guests of the hotel were the wives and children of 
Army and Navy officers located at Pearl Harbor or at one of the air- 
fields surrounding and guarding the naval base. These people were 
crowded about the radio, listening to the detailed account of the 
terrible tragedy in which their loved ones at that very moment were 
involved. The cries and sobs of the women and children were 
mingled in heart-rending confusion with the roar of bursting bombs 
as they fell in a crazy-quilt pattern over the stricken and helpless 
city. The answering chatter of antiaircraft guns, interspersed with 
the thunderous roar of great coastal defense guns, was maddening to 
nerves and emotions already strained to the breaking point. 

Fires were raging all over the city, and there was continuous clang- 
ing of fire trucks trying to answer the calls from scattered areas. 

For hours we kept close to the radio and heard a running descrip- 
tion of the terrible catastrophe in which the destiny of our country 
was so vitally involved. 

130 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

Sandwiched in between the story of the sudden and murderous 
attack upon our naval base and protecting airfields were the orders 
and instructions of both the civil and military authorities for the 
conduct and guidance of the frightened and bewildered populace of 
the stricken city. 

"Everyone must get off the streets at once. Stay under cover. Bombs 
are falling in all parts of the city. Many civilians have already been 
wounded, and a number have been killed." 

"All cars must get off the streets and stay off. Run them onto 
lawns and parks. Stay off the streets! This means everybody! We are 
not asking you! We are telling you! All civilians are ordered off the 
streets until further notice." 

"Governor Poindexter has ordered a state of emergency for the 
entire territory." 

"A bomb has just fallen on the grounds of the Governor's palace. 
Governor Poindexter was in his office but was uninjured." 

"Fifty enemy planes have been counted over Pearl Harbor. The 
Rising Sun emblem was plainly visible on the wing tips." 

"Wave after wave of Japanese bombers are streaming through 
the clouded morning sky from the southwest. Each plane seems to 
know its assigned target. Their aim is deadly accurate and the re- 
sults are destructive and appalling." 

The first extra edition of the Advertiser, the morning newspaper, 
was out at 10:30 a.m. There was a mad scramble for copies, and the 
supply was sold out before the newsboy reached the hotel lobby. 
Here follow some of the headlines in bold type: 

"Emergency hospital announces a list of six killed and twenty-one 

"Fort Shafter announces that the entire Island of Oahu is under 
sporadic attack." 

"City in uproar ten minutes after attack begins." 

"First indication of surprise raid came shortly before eight o'clock 
when antiaircraft guns around Pearl Harbor began sending up a 
thunderous barrage." 

"Just three minutes after the attack was begun, the first American 
gun was fired by a young naval recruit. Acting on his own respon- 
sibility, he manned a machine gun and it was reported that his firing 
was deadly effective." 

America's Day of Infamy 131 

"A vast cloud of black smoke arose from the naval base, and from 
Hickham Field where raging flames could be seen." 

"Oil tank of city set afire." 

"Huge fires were raging at Pearl Harbor at 1:10 p.m. Five vessels 
appeared to have been destroyed in the several air raids. One ship 
has turned over on its side. Fires raging in four others seemed to be 
gaining in intensity as they settled in the water." 

"A dispatch intercepted from Imperial Headquarters in Tokyo 
says Japan entered state of war with U.S. and Great Britain in West- 
ern Pacific since dawn today." 

"Part of fleet that has escaped is moving out to sea." 

The attack began with wave after wave of Japanese bombers 
diving out of the clouds upon Pearl Harbor, Hickham Field, Schofield 
Barracks, and Ford Island, where many of the families of naval 
officials lived. 

The enemy planes came over in successive waves nearly all day 
and into the night. The first attack, which came at 7:55 a.m., lasted 
nearly an hour. The second wave came at 9:15, the third at 11:39, and 
the fourth at 11:49. There was a lull for a while, then another attack 
came at 7:15 p.m., and the last at 9:15 that night. 

I was looking out of my room window at the awesome fires rolling 
up from the burning battleship, Arizona, whose magazine had ex- 
ploded. Secretary Knox has described the awful tragedy of sailors 
swimming through burning oil. I heard the dreadful whine of a bomb 
coming at an oblique angle. It seemed an eternity of agony before it 
passed the end of the hotel, the length of two windows from my 
room. It landed in the school grounds adjoining the hotel and left 
an excavation big enough for a court house! Someone asked me later 
how long I heard the whine of this coming bomb. I replied that it 
seemed like about thirty days! 

It is now known that many of the Japanese aviators who wrought 
such havoc in Honolulu were educated in the high schools and the 
University of Honolulu. They knew everything about the islands— 
the defenses and vital areas. They knew, for instance, where the 
officers and top sergeants slept in the barracks. They knew where 
every ship was berthed and where every power plant was located. 
They knew how many ships were in the harbor for the week ends, 
their names, and where they were anchored. At least two submarines 

132 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

followed the last warship in through the mine fields on Saturday 

There is ample evidence that those Japanese bombers were "suicide 
squads." They were bent on doing all the damage they possibly could, 
and for them the loss of life was only incidental. 

A suicide bomber crashed within fifteen feet of the sub-station of 
the Hawaiian Electric Power Company that fed Wheeler Field. Two 
homes were wrecked and burned as the plane dived for the power 
station. The bodies of the two Japanese airmen were horribly burned. 
One of our missionaries saw the small metal tablet taken off the 
burned Japanese bomber. On that bit of metal was the inscription: 
"Bendix Airplane Corporation, New Jersey, U. S. A." The wings of 
the plane were made of tin, but it was powered by an American 
engine, driven by American aviation gasoline, and its bombs of de- 
struction were made of American scrap iron. 

Another suicide bomber dived for the broad doorway of the repair 
shop at Wheeler Field. The work benches were crowded with work- 
men. The enemy bomber wrought a fearful havoc of death and de- 
struction before it came to rest half-way through the long workshops. 

Bombers made repeated death dives upon the decks of American 
battleships. Japanese airmen seemed utterly indifferent to death, if 
only they achieved the objective set for them. 

By ten o'clock on Sunday the refugees from all the airfields and 
naval and military areas had begun their tragic flight into the city. 
The public school buildings, hotels, churches, and private homes 
were soon crowded. Many mothers had fled with their little children 
without even a change of clothing. I had read of the horror of seeing 
refugees fleeing from burning homes and murderous war. Now I 
had witnessed it all. 

In the first group of refugees to reach my hotel in mad flight was 
a young mother, the wife of a naval officer whose ship had gone 
down. With her were the three little children. The mother was in 
the terrible grip of hysterical fear, and the little children, clad only 
in their pajamas, were sobbing with exhaustion and fright. I was glad 
for a few minutes to get away from the blare of the terrible radio and 
give what assistance I could. They were taken in and given a room. 
Friends crowded around with love and sympathy to comfort the 
stricken and distressed group. 

This case was typical, and it was the beginning of the confused and 
disorganized flight of refugees from Ford Island (the island in the 

America's Day of Infamy 133 

center of Pearl Harbor where Navy personnel and families lived), 
and from the areas of the surrounding airfields. The number of 
refugees increased as that tragic Sunday dragged its weary way on 
toward noon. The murderous attack had been in progress for four 
hours, and the lists of Army and Navy dead and wounded were in- 
creasing every minute as the successive waves of Japanese bombers 
came over, dropped their loads of death and went back to their 
mother ships for more. Some of those who fled into the city had 
heard the worst already concerning husband or father. Others were 
paralyzed with the fearful dread that any minute might become a 
reality as the radio continued to unfold the story of the unspeakable 
tragedy that was being inflicted on America's first line of defense just 
over the peaks behind Devil's Head. 

Over the radio all day, from 9 a.m. until midnight, there came 
these entries often repeated. One plea was for blood donors. "Need 
desperate. Report at once to Queen's Hospital." The reason for this 
urgent entreaty so often repeated throughout the day was apparent 
to everyone when the long lists of wounded and mangled soldiers and 
sailors came in during the days that followed. 

Another plea that brought a pang of fear and dread to every 
heart was the continuous call for doctors and nurses. Finally, the 
names of more than forty city doctors were read, and they were re- 
quested to report at once to the several hospitals. The plea for 
nurses was equally insistent. I knew by these appeals that the 
casualty lists were large and increasing with fearful rapidity. 

Another plea that was tragically revealing was for ambulances. 
When the supply was exhausted there came the entreaty, repeated 
over and over by the hour, for trucks for the transportation of the 
wounded to the various hospitals. "Ambulances needed desperately. 
Every available truck report to authorities at Pearl Harbor. Already 
100 trucks have answered call for ambulance duty. Many more 
needed at once." 

There came also this plea from Hickham Field where the destruc- 
tion and loss of life had been so heavy: "Hickham Field appeals for 
emergency water supply for domestic purposes." Early Sunday after- 
noon there came this gratifying announcement: "F. H. Davies and 
Company furnished a fleet of one hundred trucks for Hickham 

We know now that the Japanese had planned weeks ahead every 
minute detail of the proposed surprise attack. To make certain that 

134 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

all suspicion might be allayed, they had sent a special peace dele- 
gation to Washington. Their hypocritical envoys kept up their pre- 
tense for a peaceful solution of the differences existing between the 
two nations until the actual attack was in progress. We know now 
that the orders had gone forth for the sailing of the convoy of death 
at the very time the special peace envoys were on their way by air- 
plane to Washington. The task force, under sealed orders, sailed 
from a port in northern Japan about ten days before the date agreed 
upon for the attack. The enemy force followed the Great Northern 
Circle route until, just off the Aleutian Islands, they turned due 
south for some seven hundred miles to their appointed rendezvous. 
Five hundred miles off Honolulu to the southwest, the squadron met 
the submarine flotilla that had been dispatched to the Western 
Pacific some weeks ahead. 

After opening their sealed orders, the commanders rehearsed in 
detail the attack planned for dawn the next morning. At dusk on 
Saturday afternoon the fleet sailed with leisurely confidence toward 
the unsuspecting naval base at Pearl Harbor. At the first sign of day, 
the death squadron came to a halt three hundred miles southwest 
of Honolulu. In the murky dawn of a quiet and peaceful Sunday 
morning, fifty-odd planes, weighted with then- terrible missiles of 
death, took off for Pearl Harbor. 

The timing was perfect. In blissful ignorance of the impending 
danger, the Army and Navy personnel were taking things quietly 
after two weeks at sea. Saturday had been a payday. Discipline had 
been relaxed. Gay parties for both officers and men had helped to 
while away the fleeting hours of Saturday night. Why worry? The 
great ships were riding quietly and serenely at their berths. Every- 
body was taking it easy and sleeping late! 

Moreover, the quarter of a million inhabitants of the beautiful, 
gay, and irresponsible city of Honolulu were sleeping after a night 
of revelry, feasting, and dancing. Why restraint? The fleet was in. 
payday on Saturday had quickened the flow of mirth. 

For some two weeks the Army and Navy personnel had been under 
"alert," but only for local sabotage. There was no fear or expecta- 
tion of danger from without. There were 70,000 Japanese nationals 
in the city of Honolulu. Not knowing who were loyal or disloyal, 
it was deemed the part of wisdom to watch for local sabotage. All 
planes on the several airfields around the naval base for the week 
end had been parked close together so that there could be efficient 

America's Day of Infamy 135 

watch against incendiary fires. Also, as an extra precaution, all gaso- 
line and guns were removed from bombers and fighting planes. In 
fact, the investigation brought out the fact that many of the fighters 
and practice planes had never been supplied with weapons of any 
kind except dummies. 

It has since been revealed that there was no systematic patrol of 
the Hawaiian off-shore, and radar apparatus was left unmanned. A 
recruit, ambitious to learn all he could about radar technique, tuned 
in less than an hour before the attack and detected the approach of a 
large detachment of unidentified planes. He reported the matter 
to his superior and was told to sign off as it was doubtless a squadron 
of American planes on reconnaissance. 

The tragedy of Sunday, December 7, 1941, will go down in history 
as the most humiliating, shameful, and unnecessaiy disaster that has 
ever befallen us as a nation. Thirty-three hundred sailors and soldiers, 
the vast majority of them under twenty-one years of age, were sud- 
denly hurled into eternity, without a moment's warning. Eight 
hundred others were wounded, some of them horribly mangled. The 
long lists of civilians who perished— many of them little children- 
crowded the columns of the daily papers until one was sick at heart 
over it all. There were mass funerals from Monday on through the 
week until Saturday noon. Four hundred were buried in Wheeler 
Field at one time. The heartbreak and sorrow of it will follow me as 
long as I live. 

All day Sunday and through Sunday night I saw the flames from 
the burning Arizona leaping into the air. The enemy with fiendish 
accuracy dropped a bomb down her smokestack. Her magazine ex- 
ploded, and the mighty ship blew up and sank. All of the other ships 
have been raised except the Arizona. Seven hundred of her gallant 
crew sleep at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. I saw the mass funeral of 
the remainder of the Arizona's men who were lost. 

Sunday was a dreadful night spent in total darkness. We greatly 
feared there would be other attacks that night and the days following. 
We feared also that saboteurs would burn the city that night. 

God grant that America shall never experience what I saw, and 
may he forgive America for her senseless and greedy policy of con- 
tinuing, for four years, to sell oil, gasoline, scrap iron, and airplane 
engines to Japan for the destruction of helpless China and the death 
of untold millions of innocent men, women, and children. It had 
come back to us in fearful judgment! 

Retirement from the Secretaryship 

I finished my visits to all the mission fields of our Board with the 
trip to the newly-established Hawaiian Mission in December, 1941. 
I was tired when I went out to Honolulu. I came back home com- 
pletely exhausted, nervous, and sleepless. The burden of the work 
in the homeland, the continuous travel in foreign lands, the effort 
to pay off the crushing debt on the Board, together with the heavy 
responsibility of the administration of the affairs of the Board at home 
and abroad, had undermined my health. I knew I was headed for 
a scrap heap unless some way was found for complete rest. This was 
impossible as long as I remained Executive Secretary. 

After many weeks of earnest prayer for divine guidance, I pre- 
sented the following to the Board at the October meeting in 1943: 

Statement of the Executive Secretary 

Eleven years ago the Foreign Mission Board in annual session called me to be 
Executive Secretary of the Foreign Board. Without going into details or at- 
tempting to recount the struggles of these years, I now come to request that the 
Foreign Mission Board at this semi-annual session appoint a committee of nine 
members, constituting one-fourth of the membership of the Board, to search out 
and recommend to the Board for election at the semi-annual meeting in April, 
1944 an associate executive secretary who, with some months of training with the 
Executive Secretary, should be able to take over the work by the close of the 
year, 1944. 

At the close of the year 1944 I will be within three months of my sixty-ninth 
birthday. This will complete twelve years of service with this Board as Executive 
Secretary, and this added to twelve years in the secretaryship in North Carolina 
will complete twenty-four years of hard laborous and exhausting work as a general 
denominational secretary. 

The work of this Board in both Europe and China will have to be completely 
reorganized. It is a task that is going to require the boundless energy and strength 
of a younger man. This man, by all means, ought to be in training not later than 
the semi-annual meeting of the Board next October for this challenging and 
exacting task that lies ahead for Southern Baptists. 

We firmly believe that every door in the world will be open for the entrance 
of the gospel when this terrible war comes to an end. You need a young man 
in this crucial and exacting position for your leader for the first quarter of a 


Retirement from the Secretaryship 137 

century of new Southern Baptists' foreign mission work that soon will be dawning 
for us. The time will be all too short to seek out and train such a man. 

Please be assured of my deep and abounding gratitude for the boundless way 
in which you have supported me through these eleven crucial and epoch-making 
years it has been my privilege to serve with you. And be assured, further, that 
all of my strength and whatever ability God may give me will be at your disposal 
until the Lord shall call me unto himself. 

The Board replied in the following statement: 

In Appreciation of Dr. Charles E. Maddry 

When, at his insistent request, Dr. Charles E. Maddry retires from the executive 
secretary-ship of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 
he can review with pardonable pride and satisfaction and with deep gratitude 
the tokens of favor, human and divine, which have attended, from the first day 
until now, his leadership. 

Baptists have always believed, when they have sincererly sought it, in provi- 
dential guidance in the selection of their leaders. That faith has had another 
signal confirmation in the call of Dr. Maddry to be our secretary. When he began 
his work in January 1933, neither we nor he fully realized how his background, 
training, and experience had unconsciously prepared him for the duties and 
difficulties of the most important and responsible post of service in our Southern 
Baptist Convention. But as perplexing problems and delicate situations developed 
requiring wisdom, understanding, patience, common sense, and religion we 
became thankfully aware of the resources he had accumulated in his previous 
manifold ministries. His pastorates, rural and urban, gave him the point of view 
of pastors and laymen and saved him from secretarial detachment, and from 
speaking down to people. His ambition for an education, and his training at 
college and seminary, his superintendency of education in his home county in 
North Carolina, and his connection as trustee of the University of his native 
State added an intellectual breadth and outlook which have served him well 
and the Board in formulating our educational policies both here and in other 
lands. His eleven years as General Secretary of the Board of Missions of North 
Carolina equipped him to deal intelligently with denominational activities, State 
and Southwide. 

Thus to the major work of his career he brought physical strength, mental 
vigor, breadth of interest, and an utter devotion to the Cause he was to champion. 

And all these qualities were needed in 1933 when we seemed to be at our 
wits' end. The shadow of a world-wide depression still enveloped us. There 
was unsettlement in the homeland and uncertainty about our missionary work 
abroad. Our well-nigh economic bankruptcy was reflected in our lowered morale 
and the courses of retreat. It took a stout heart to sound a note of hope. 

It was here that our Secretary made to our Board and to Southern Baptists his 
most distinctive contribution. We humbly and gratefully recall the ascending road 
we traveled together during the past twelve years. The statistical figures on 
March 12, 1943 were still red, only they were crimsoned by the sacrifices of many 
loyal devoted people who were determined that our honor must be preserved and 
our work maintained and enlarged. Dr. Maddry in recounting our liberation from 
the bondage of debt has never failed to magnify the organizations and individuals 
that together made possible our recovery. But the fact remains that all these 
achievements rest back on and spring from spiritual factors and inspirations which 
no organizations, programs, techniques, and appeals could ever have produced. 
Faith in God, in the cause of Christianizing the world, faith in ourselves, and 

138 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

faith in our people we needed. We were apologetic, on the defensive, and sug- 
gestible to the counsels of despair. He imparted to us the contagion of his own 
faith, courage, vision, and hope. Our unpayable debt to Dr. Maddry is the new 
spirit he gave us. Our romantic statistics are the consequences of the confidence 
he inspired, the spiritual dynamic he possessed, and which his fellow-workers 

His twelve years as secretary was a period of expanding horizons for us and 
for him. His journeys to every Southern Baptist mission field yielded rich divi- 
dends for us and for the missionaries. His insight into the problems of preachers, 
teachers, nurses, and doctors working with race and in countries different from 
America, his comprehension of their perplexities today and their still greater ones 
in the adjustments that must be made after the War have been reflected in his 
plans and proposals for the next period of missionary work by Southern Baptists. 
Growing out of recognized needs has come The Commission, a magazine which 
is already beginning to realize the hope of the founder in giving Southern Bap- 
tists by pen and picture an intelligent understanding of the peoples of the world 
and our obligation to them. That the type of person who goes as missionary may 
be fitted by personality, background, culture, and ability to interpret appealingly 
our faith to the educated and the primitives, a personnel director gives his time 
to finding the ablest young men and women of our colleges. Notable among the 
advances in the last years has been the appointment of regional secretaries, and 
in every other department of our growing work administrative wisdom has been 
shown in meeting each new situation, in establishing new fields, and increasing 
the number of missionaries wherever doors have been open. 

Noteworthy among the many achievements of this administration has been 
more than a million dollars given for the relief of the hungry in the famine- 
stricken areas of other lands. 

Our missionary enterprise is the unifying center of Southern Baptists. Its ap- 
peal furnished momentum and lifting power for every other cause we support, 
and the Secretary of this Board has from the beginning in 1845 been the symbol 
and the incarnation of that work. Dr. Maddry satisfied that demand and fulfilled 
that expectation. He has been persuasive in our pulpits and on our platforms. 
With so large and divergent a constituency as compose the Southern Baptist 
Convention it is no easy task to keep them with one mind and purpose, and work- 
ing together. Not the least of his achievements is that in every relationship he has 
sustained, with pastors, and laymen, with office staff, and missionaries he has 
won and kept their respect, their confidence, and their affection. And they and we 
think of him as a great Christian and so a great servant. Our Foreign Mission 
Board has been blessed of God in the men who have been our secretaries. Each 
faced problems springing out of the period in which he served. Each did his 
day's work, and faithfully. In that noble succession Dr. Maddry has walked. He 
has helped to make his predecessors' contributions secure. He has given security, 
stability to our own day, and has laid the foundation upon which his successors 
may build in confidence. We remember him as God's gift to us. 

We are thankful that we are to continue to have— and we hope for many a 
day— his wisdom, his experience, and his great gifts at the service of our Board. 

We would convey to Mrs. Maddry our grateful appreciation for the reinforce- 
ment, understanding, and sympathy she has given to our work, to the missionaries, 
and supremely to her husband. 

We wish for them a long afternoon rich in the best blessings of God. 

Solon B. Cousins 
John L. Slaughter 
W. R. Pettigrew 
T. C. Ecton 

Retirement from the Secretaryship 139 

At the June, 1944 meeting of the Board, the Board elected my 
successor as seen in the following news item published in the Rich- 
mond Times-Dispatch: 

Baptists Elect Dr. Rankin Mission Board Secretary 

Dr. M. T. Rankin, former missionary to China, yesterday was elected by the 
Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as executive sec- 
retary of the board. Dr. Rankin will assume office on Jan. 1, 1945, succeeding Dr. 
Charles E. Maddry, who desires to be relieved of the administrative duties of the 
office after having served for 12 years. By request of the Foreign Mission Board, 
Dr. Maddry will continue as field secretary through 1945, the centennial year of 
the board. 

During Dr. Maddry 's term of leadership as executive secretary, the board has 
liquidated its entire indebtedness, which, when he became secretary, amounted 
to $1,625,000. The work has been increased and the board now has 502 active 
missionaries in 17 foreign countries, while Southern Baptists have grown in 
membership from 4,000,000 to 5,500,000 during this period. 

Dr. Rankin is a native of South Carolina, having been born at Newberry, S. C, 
July 28, 1894, the son of Rev. and Mrs. W. M. Rankin, Sr. Fie received his educa- 
tion at Wake Forest College, Furman University, and Southern Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary. He has the degrees of A. B. from Wake Forest, Th.M. and Ph.D. 
from Southern Baptist Seminary and received the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Divinity from Union Seminary in 1936 and William Jewell College in 1944. He 
was ordained by the First Baptist Church, Durham, N. C, in 1914, and was 
appointed to the Foreign Mission Board as a missionary to China, June 8, 1921. 
On March 8, 1922, he was married to Miss Valleria Greene, of North Carolina 
(born in China), daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. W. Greene, for many years mis- 
sionaries to China. Dr. and Mrs. Rankin have two daughters, Page, who recently 
graduated from Meredith College, and Mary Lee, who is in high school in Rich- 

While in China, Dr. Rankin served as professor and later as president of Graves 
Theological Seminary at Canton. In 1935 he was elected secretary for the Orient, 
which position he had held since that time. He was in Hong Kong when that city 
was captured by the Japanese and for several months he was interned by the 
Japanese in Stanley Camp. He came home on the Gripsholm on its first exchange 
trip in August, 1942. 

For eight and one-half years Theron Rankin led Southern Baptists 
in a glorious fashion in their world mission advance. Then, on June 27, 
1953, the tidings of his death from dread leukemia were flashed to 
his fellow workers in many lands. His last written missionary chal- 
lenge closed with these words: "I am much more afraid of standing 
at the door of the new day of advance in the coming of God's kingdom 
and having God pass me by as he moves on, seeking those who will 
dare to follow him out into the world of this day. I would not dare 
to be left standing there." 

On January 1, 1902, I began my ministry as pastor of the Baptist 
Church in Hillsboro, the county seat of Orange County. Hillsboro 
is an old town, laid out in 1753. As already indicated, it was at one 

140 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography 

time during colonial days the capital of the state. After winning the 
drawn battle of Guilford Court House, on March 15, 1781, Corn- 
wallis retreated to Hillsboro and set up the royal standard, believing 
that the loyal Tories would flock to his standard and that he would 
then be able to overrun all the Province of North Carolina. 

When I first became pastor of the Hillsboro Baptist Church in 1902, 
the congregation was without much financial strength. There were 
only twenty-one members. By 1952 the church had grown to a mem- 
bership of something over two hundred members and was able to 
pay an adequate salary together with a comfortable parsonage. 

I retired as Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board in 
1945. After a season of retirement, I had grown restless and "home 
sick" for the pastorate. When the church invited me to come as 
interim pastor, I accepted and came with the expectation of staying 
a few months. After almost three years I am still there. The con- 
gregation has increased, the financial contributions of die church 
have more than doubled, many new members have been baptized 
into the fellowship of the church, and a new day of hope and en- 
thusiasm has come. 

Because of the Civil War and the loss of the building fund, the 
church house was not finished until 1870. Through all the years the 
members felt sorely the need for Sunday school equipment. The 
matter was agitated at intervals but nothing had been done. At 
one time brick were purchased and placed on the grounds. The 
undertaking seemed so far beyond the ability of the congregation 
that the brick were disposed of and the task abandoned. 

The church in the meantime took out Building and Loan stock, and 
when I came, there was the sum of fifteen thousand dollars accumu- 
lated toward the building of a Sunday school annex. We raised twenty 
thousand dollars more, and the long-dreamed of educational building 
was begun. 

The church was organized on November 3, 1853, and in November, 
1953, we celebrated its centennial. Our new building was completed, 
and it was a great occasion in the life of the church. The building 
is modern and up-to-date in every particular and will care for a 
graded Sunday school of five hundred pupils. 

I have been preaching for fifty-three years and trust in the provi- 
dence of God to complete the "circle" and finish my earthly ministry 
here where I began in 1901. Here in this dear little church I married 
Emma Parker on May 2, 1906. 

Retirement from the Secretaryship 141 

The years have been good to us, and the Lord has richly blessed 
us. We have one daughter, Katharine, who has been everything to us 
that we could wish. She married Robert Watson Severance of South 
Carolina. They have three children, Katherine Maddry, Robert Wat- 
son II, and Sarah Watson. 

I have now come to the end of the winding trail. The sun is long 
past the meridian; the shadows are slowly lengthening. Soon it will be 
sunset and darkness, but best of all, it will be sunrise in the morning! 

Date Due 

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